A province-wide campaign launched today by the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association (AFCA) seeks to encourage Albertans to test their carbon monoxide alarms every month.
More than 70 per cent of Albertans have at least one carbon monoxide alarm in their home, according to the AFCA’s research. However, although Albertans should be testing their alarms monthly, less than half of Albertans said they were “very likely” to on even an annual basis. Furthermore, only 29 per cent of respondents said they were concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Although carbon monoxide alarms are becoming more common, our research shows that not enough Albertans are testing the alarms they have or concerned about the risk,” said Fred Tyrrell, Executive Director of the AFCA. “This still poses a safety risk that is quite preventable. So our goal with this year’s campaign is to urge Albertans to make monthly alarm-testing part of their routine.”
The campaign urges Albertans to do “whatever it takes” to notice one of the most important safety devices in their homes – in this case, by sticking eyes, moustaches, ears or other human-like features on carbon monoxide alarms. The goal is to encourage Albertans to make their carbon monoxide alarms “unignorable,” and ensure they are tested monthly.
“We know a little bit of humour and creativity can go a long way to generating interest and awareness for the public,” said Tyrrell.
“Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odourless poisonous gas. Only a working carbon monoxide alarm can detect this hazardous gas and provide an early warning. Testing your alarm can take less than 30 seconds. By investing just a little bit of time, and reminding other family and friends to do the same thing, lives can be saved.
“The AFCA’s research also showed that most Albertans associated carbon monoxide risks with their furnaces, but there are other potential areas they need to consider. Appliances such as gas-stove ranges, fireplaces, space heaters, and dryers can, lead to carbon monoxide risks when used improperly or not maintained.
If Albertans don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm, it’s important to purchase one as soon as possible, Tyrrell added.
The AFCA’s campaign will be promoted through social media, advertising on television and in select Cineplex theatres, as well as direct mail, posters, and online at CarbonMonoxideAlberta.ca.
Website visitors can download a monthly alarm testing reminder for their calendars, find out where they can purchase an alarm closest to their location, and learn more facts about carbon monoxide.
Research was conducted through Leger, via an online survey with 1,002 Alberta residents between September 20-24, 2019.
About the AFCA
The mission of the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association is to promote, support and facilitate fire protection and related emergency services. Visit the AFCA Website for more information.