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Fire Safety Week a reminder to hear the beep where you sleep
* from the Department ​of Municipal Affairs 

A working smoke alarm in every bedroom can save lives.

Fire Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 4-10, is a perfect time to check smoke alarms as well as create and practice home fire-escape plans.

"Almost half of home fire deaths are from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep," said Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill, who is responsible for the Office of the Fire Marshal. "This year's theme, hear the beep where you sleep, reinforces the importance of being able to hear smoke alarms at night when families are sleeping."

Smoke alarms should have fresh batteries, and should be replaced if they are past their 10-year lifespan. Smoke alarm exteriors should also be vacuumed and cleaned throughout the year. Alarms should be tested frequently and replaced if they do not sound during testing.

Nova Scotians are also urged to create and practice a home fire-escape plan.

"Fire is unpredictable and can move faster than people think," said Harold Pothier, Nova Scotia's fire marshal. "When a smoke alarm goes off, people may have no more than three minutes to get out before being overcome by smoke and fumes. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire."

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, Mr. Pothier, first responders around the province, and other partners will participate in a live Twitter chat on fire safety from 1-2 p.m. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #nsfiresafety.

Some tips for home fire escape plans are:

* ​draw a home map showing all doors and windows 
* know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily
* have an outside meeting place a safe distance from the home where everyone should meet
* practice the home fire drill at night, and during the day, with everyone in the house twice a year

For more information on fire safety, visit 

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