Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Carbon Monoxide alarms are available in many models and made by many manufactures. Carbon monoxide alarms in use in Canada must bear a ULC (Underwriters Laboratories Canada) label. Some CO alarms are integrated in smoke alarms and some are stand alone. Some plug into electrical plug in’s at floor level and some at the ceiling level.
REMEMBER to follow manufactures recommendations for installation and use.
Never test your CO alarm at your car exhaust, it will overwhelm the sensors and burn them out.
Facts about CO
Carbon Monoxide is colorless and odourless gas given off in the burning process. It can be a life threatening. Common sources of CO are gas or wood fireplaces, gas stoves or ovens, gas hot water heaters, portable heaters, charcoal briquettes, gas clothes dryers, plugged chimneys and automobiles.
Carbon Monoxide detectors are calibrated to go into alarm before CO levels reach 100 ppm (parts per million) over 90 minutes and is equivalent to 10% carboxyhemoglobin blood level. This is the level just prior to the onset of poisoning symptoms in a healthy, normal adult.
Higher risk groups may be affected by lower CO levels including unborn babies, infants, children, the elderly and those with heart or lung disorders.
What to do if your alarm goes off
If your alarm sounds and reads from 1-9 ppm you are advised to check manufactures recommendations, clear the detector in fresh air and re-install. If the alarm sound again, call a heating professional to have your appliances checked.
- If your alarm sounds and reads from 10-49 ppm it has detected a potentially dangerous level of Carbon Monoxide. You are advised to immediately ventilate the building and not operate combustion appliances until repairs are made.
- If 50 ppm or higher are detected leave the building immediately, call 911 and report any flu like symptoms.
A potentially lethal level has been detected.
Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Replace all Smoke Alarms in your home every 10 years
The Alberta Fire and Building code require that the minimum in every dwelling is one on each sleeping level. The Grande Prairie Fire Department would also like to recommend that you have at least one on every level. For increased protection, smoke detectors can also be installed in each bedroom.
Smoke detectors should be located in hallways outside of sleeping areas if they are the only unit on that level, and will alarm the quickest if they are near the middle of the ceiling - avoid the corners where the ceiling meets the wall. It is also important to avoid mounting them where they may be subjected to steam; a hot shower near a bathroom door or cooking "fumes" near a kitchen. Not only are the false alarms annoying, but they can tend to desensitize or hyper-sensitize your detector over time.
Smoke Alarms require routine maintenance:
- Battery powered detectors should be checked monthly.
- The batteries should be changed annually.
- Vacuum around the vents of all detectors as dust can affect their function.
Clear a false alarm by waving a towel or newspaper under the smoke detector to clear away smoke. When when batteries are removed to silence an alarm, the detector is forgotten and not put back into operation.
Don't forget to replace smoke alarms that are over 10 years old.
If you need any assistance, please contact our department.
Having your wood burning appliance designed and installed properly is essential.
Use dry, seasoned wood and burn hot fires to prevent creosite build up.
Chimneys should be checked regularly and cleaned at least annually. This can be done by the home owner or by a professional chimney sweep.
This chimney cap has enough creosote that it caused a small chimney fire.
The fire was extinguished before any damage was done.
Enough creosote has built up in this chimney to become
dangerous. It can easily ignite and cause extremely high temperatures, which can not only break down the chimney liner, but may also heat up the surrounding building structure enough to ignite a fire in the enclosed spaces. These fires are often not detected quickly and can be very difficult to extinguish. Regularly cleaning your chimney will make a big difference in providing a safe and enjoyable woodstove or fireplace experience.
Holiday and Party Safety Checklist
The Grande Prairie Fire Department wants you to have a safe Christmas season. You can use our checklist to help you stay safe while enjoying the holidays.
Do you have any holiday decorations?
Make sure all decorations are flame resistant.
- Check that all electric decorations are:
- unplugged before everyone leaves the home or goes to bed
- inspected and replaced as necessary
- UL or ULC labelled
Do you have a Christmas tree?
- Water natural Christmas trees daily
- Place any Christmas tree away from exits, heaters, and candles
- Christmas Tree Fire Video Presentation
Do you use candles?
- Always supervise children when candles are in use
- Never use candles in the bedroom
- Use candles carefully and only in a candle holder with a non-tip base
- Blow out candles before people leave the room or go home
Do you have a fireplace?
- Never throw holiday gift wrap in the fireplace
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen or heat-tempered glass
- Cool ashes for 72 hours in a non-combustible container before throwing them away
Does anyone in your home smoke?
- Provide large deep ash trays
- Empty ashtrays in the toilet
- Check sofa and cushions for fallen cigarettes and smoking material
- Never use flower pots or planters to dispose of smoking material
- Always use a smoking materials receptacle designed for exterior use when outdoors
- Keep children safe. ensure all lighters and matches are locked and out of reach from children
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Keep exits unblocked by decorations, chairs or other items
Fire Safety Plan
Construction, Renovation and Demolition
Follow the links for information regarding safety plan construction, renovation and demolition. If you have any questions contact the Fire Prevention Branch. Call 780-538-0393.
Who needs a Fire Safety Plan - WhoneedsaFireSafetyPlan (Word, 44KB)
Customized Fire Safety Planning - CustomizedFireSafetyPlanCheckSheet (PDF,147 KB)
Small Building Fire Safety Plan - SmallBuildingsFireSafetyPlan (PDF,249 KB)
Fire Safety Plan Template
The following template is to be used to create a Fire Safety Plan. The Alberta Fire Code, Section 2.8 requires the implementation of a Fire Safety Plan in all building/occupancy. The implementation of a Fire Safety Plan helps to ensure effective utilization of life safety features in a building to protect people from fire. The required Fire Safety Plan should be designed to suite the resources of each individual building or complex of buildings. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure that the information contained within the Fire Safety Plan is accurate and complete.
GPFD Fire Safety Plan Template
Emergency Planning Diagram Requirements
Should you have any questions or concerns in meeting compliance requirements, contact the GPFD Fire Prevention Branch at 780.538-0400.