Fire department offers smoke detector service

Friday, March 1, 2002

KITCHENER, Ontario-The local fire department here is hoping to boost sales of its direct smoke detector monitoring through increased sales efforts and partnering with local installers.

The Kitchener Fire Department has seen sales of its Direct Detect monitoring service slump since the town began to offer it last fall, said John Coish, manager of the service. The service now has about 800 customers; it hopes to reach 1,200 more sometime this year.

The service is tied into local building codes, which mandate that any home outside a four minute radius from a Kitchener fire station must use the service. The fee is $5 a month, Coish said.

The fire department, which serves a geographic area of nearly 400 square miles, is currently working with four local alarm dealers to install the smoke detectors, Coish said.

When the service debuted, it met with some resistance, he said, because of Kitchener's requirement that an installer carry $5 million in liability insurance, he said.

The local codes, which require the monitoring in most areas, were developed in conjunction with the local home builders association as well as with the state and local building and fire officials, he said.