During Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5-11, Nova Scotians are encouraged to learn how they can reduce the risk of fire, and are reminded to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they have fresh batteries and are working correctly. In more than half of fatal house fires, investigators find there are no working smoke alarms. If installed and maintained properly, smoke alarms save lives. “Our main priority is to keep Nova Scotians safe. Fire Prevention Week is an important part of educating people on fire safety,” said Municipal Affairs Minister Mark Furey. “When a smoke alarm goes off, people only have about three minutes to get out of their homes before smoke and fumes become overbearing and toxic. Testing smoke alarms every month can help save lives.” On Tuesday, Oct. 7, Mr. Furey, the Office of the Fire Marshal, first responders around the province, and other partners will participate in a live Twitter chat on fire safety from 9-10:30 a.m. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #nsfiresafety. Important safety tips people should know are: smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas it is best to use two types of alarms in the home, the ionization smoke alarm that is quicker to warn about flaming fires, and the photoelectric alarm that is quicker to warn about smoldering fires smoke alarms should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms 10 feet from the kitchen stove to reduce false alarms people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers Smoke alarms should be tested monthly, batteries replaced annually, and if the smoke alarm is over 10 years old, it needs to be replaced. The outside of the alarm should be vacuumed and cleaned throughout the year and the power supply tested by sounding the alarm. Fire Prevention Week is recognized across Canada. This year’s theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month! For more information on fire safety, visit www.safeathome.ca .