MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Inadequate, outdated and
non-functional smoke alarms are putting thousands of Toronto and area
families at serious risk, said Tim Birnie, owner of Birnie CurrentSAFE
"We have inspected hundreds and hundreds of homes in the GTA since 2010,
and more than half have inadequate protection," said Mr. Birnie, whose
company offers a high-tech residential electrical hazard detection
program. "Some alarms have expired, some have dead batteries, and, in
some cases, people have even disabled them because of nuisance alarms."
What's really alarming, he added, is that more than 30 percent of the
inspected homes also contained serious fire hazards related to
previously undetected electrical problems. BirnieCurrentSAFE is
conducting a public awareness campaign throughout May, which is
Electrical Safety Month in North America.
"It has been shown that two-thirds of fire deaths could have been
prevented with functioning smoke alarms. What many people don't know is
that they may be at risk even with detectors that are hard-wired into
the home's electrical system. Electrical fires often knock the home's
power out before the alarm sounds. That makes it imperative to have an
alarm with battery back-up."
People also don't realize that pushing the 'test' button on the alarm is
no guarantee. "The test button simulates an activation, but does not
test the unit's ability to detect smoke. You can buy canned smoke to
test the detection system. But if the alarm is 10 years old, replace
Mr. Birnie recommends alarms with a 'hush' button for kitchen areas to
eliminate nuisance alarms while cooking.
Birnie CurrentSAFE is encouraging area families to prepare a fire escape
plan, and to practice fire drills. "We are donating $25 to Toronto Sick
Kids Hospital for each fire safety plan we receive, and will feature
them on our Web site. By sharing, it is our hope more families will
take the necessary steps to protect themselves."
Birnie CurrentSAFE provides an online residential home electrical
assessment which this month qualifies participants for a no-fee,
in-home review, and a chance to win free electricity for a year. The
assessment is available at ismyhomesafe.ca.
Birnie Electric, founded in 1967, has a service team with an average of
20 years' electrical experience. They are fully insured, background
security checked and covered under WSIB. In addition to delivering the
Birnie CurrentSAFE program to residential customers, Birnie Electric
provides design/build, electrical contracting and datacomm services to
developers and contractors as well as to commercial and industrial
businesses throughout Ontario.
SOURCE: Birnie CurrentSAFE
For further information:
Birnie CurrentSAFE / Birnie Electric Limited
ismyhomesafe.ca / makemyhomecurrentsafe.com