Last month, at least one person was killed in an apartment fire in Saskatoon, where it appears that occupants had tampered with their smoke alarm.
Tampering with smoke alarms is becoming a trend in Saskatoon, according to the Saskatoon Fire Department.
The Pleasant Hill fire was caused by improper disposal of smoking material.
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Based on fire inspections of the building, it appears that the people who live there tampered with their smoke alarm after the unit was serviced in September. The fire occurred about a month later.
The Saskatoon Fire Department says it is getting more calls from homes without working smoke detectors.
“Especially with the use and legalization of marijuana, it appears that it is being used more easily in the person’s home and is setting off smoke alarms,” said Deputy Director Yvonne Raymer.
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Raymer said people are tampering with their alarms or disabling them to prevent them from going off.
“Many people forget to return them or put bags on them,” he said.
Since the fatal fire, the department has identified 10 other properties in the city that are missing 13 smoke detectors.
“We had another fire where he almost failed, we will call him,” he said.
“The person was sleeping, but a family member managed to wake her up, but the smoke alarms were also missing in that house.”
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Tampering with a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm is a crime and can incur a $ 25,000 fine.
“If you don’t hear the beep when you sleep because you have a fire, chances are you won’t make it out alive,” Raymer said.
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He added that if people insist on smoking indoors, they should turn on some fans or go to a different room. You can also buy electric smoke detectors that are less sensitive to things like cigarette smoke.
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