Monday, January 25, 2010

New law to have Smoke Alarm in ALL homes 火警煙霧警報器

BC Fire Code require that every private home and hotel or motel room (including built before 1979) must have smoke alarms installed by May 1, 2010. For more information about this new Law you can visit the BC Government Website's Housing and Construction Standards or visit Safe at Home for the pamphlet explaing the new law.

For every household, it is better upgrade the existing smoke alarms to interconnected smoke alarm equipped with carbon monoxide alarm. Test the smoke alarms monthly by press the test buttons. The alarm will tell you for a new replacement when it is expired.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates there was a yearly average of 386,300 residential fires resulting in nearly 2,400 deaths between 2006 and 2008. Two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. That is why it is important to replace batteries at least once every year and to test your alarms every month to make sure they work.

US CPSC estimates there was an annual average of 183 unintentional non-fire CO poisoning deaths associated with consumer products between 2006 and 2008. CO is called the "invisible killer," because it is a colorless, odorless and poisonous gas. Because of this, people may not know they are being poisoned. Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuel in various products, including furnaces, portable generators, fireplaces, cars and charcoal grills. That is why it is important to have working CO alarms in the home, on each level and outside each sleeping area.

世界新聞網-北美華人社區新聞 - 日前造成兩名女童喪命的素里民宅火警證實為一宗意外,但調查人員指屋內三個煙霧警報器(Smoke Detectors / Smoke Alarm)有兩個失效,否則悲劇或可避免。

周二清晨6時30日發生在素里市125街9400號路段的火警,造成五歲莎嘉(Sajel Saroya)與三歲的普莉亞(Priya Saroya)兩姊妹葬身火窟。警方調查後證實事件為意外,並無人為縱火跡象。

但調查人員指當時屋內的三個煙霧警報器中有兩個並未發生作用,否則住戶應有更多救人及逃生時間,這場悲劇或可避免。

素里消防局副局長卡維里亞(Jon Caviglia)表示,地下室與一樓的兩個煙霧警報器失效,但樓上的警報器則運作正常。他說鑑識人員相信起火點在一樓客廳。

Related news:
2009/02/02 Ming Pao - 廢氣入屋殺人兩老一死一危
2010/12/05 Sing Tao - 65%煙霧器失靈害死人 火警時應響卻不鳴 宜定期檢查
2012/01/31 Whitehorse.com - Carbon Monoxide killed five people in Whitehourse
2012/03/04 Sing Tao - 一氧化碳奪5命 肇因煙囪堵塞
2012/03/07 CPSC - Change Batteries in Smoke and CO Alarms
2013/12/24 CTV News - Two deaths and multiple emergency calls for carbon monoxide poisoning
2013/12/25 World Journal - 多市逾百宗一氧化碳中毒
2014/04/04 The Guardian - Nest halts sales of Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm on safety fears
2014/04/04 Toronto Sun - Google's Nest halts home alarm system sales over possible defect 
2015/07/04 Sing Tao - 防火警鐘一年3誤鳴 溫業主將罰款200
2018/03/23 Sing Tao - 无法检测烟雾!kidde全国回收4万警报器
2018/12/19 Ming Pao -  慎防一氧化碳中毒 家中應設置警報器
2019/03/20 Ming Pao - 列市府促屋主裝CO警報器 改動暖氣爐導致一氧化碳積聚 母偕年幼子女險死
2019/05/18 Ming Pao - 三文灣露營客一氧化碳中毒 一死一傷

Monday, January 4, 2010

January - National Radon Action Month 氡氣行動月

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. To learn more about the national effort to take action against radon, please click here.

Radon is a colourless, odourless, radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soils and rocks. The 2009 Maclean's magazine reports 2,000 Canadians die from radon exposure in their home.

Last year, the Health Canada planned to spend almost $1 million testing 18,000 randomly chosen homes to make a "radon potential map". The first year (2009)result was published at Cross-Canada Survey of Radon Concentrations in Homes.

In 2007, we had protocols done by the BC Centre for Disease Control. A BC radon map was made (see map). Please don't panic, average only 2.5% of households contain "unsafe" levels (more than 200 becquerels per cubic metre Bq/m3 = 5 pCi/L ). The Richmond houses are far away from the affected BC interior area. Keep in mind! No smoking and keep good ventilation in your home.


氡氣是無色無臭的放射性氣體,由泥土及岩石中微量的鈾自然分解出來。室內的氡氣來自地基裂縫、建築用石材及食水。是主要環境致癌物質之一,也是吸菸以外引發肺癌的第二大殺手。每年有2000加人致死原因與家中含放射性元素有關。請勿吸菸!並保持室內空氣清新即可確保健康。

卑斯省於2007年完成試驗並製成分佈圖(見附圖)。從圖中所見,列治文市並不在 200 becquerels per cubic metre (Bq/m3 貝克)= 5 pCi/L 高危範圍內。

聯邦衛生局將動用一百萬元為18,000家庭測試氡氣含量,並會繪畫全國氡氣分佈圖。2年計劃的首年共檢驗9,000間房屋,結果顯示紐賓士域、緬尼吐巴、沙斯卡川、育空有較多房屋的氡氣濃度超過每立方米空氣不得超過200貝克(Bq)的國家指引。貝克勒爾是放射性活度量度單位,指每秒有一個原子衰變。

紐賓士域有11.7%房屋氡氣濃度處於200至600貝克的第一級超高水準,5.3%房子甚至超過600貝克而達到第二級超高水準。
沙斯卡川的第一級及第二級超高水準氡氣濃度房屋,分別有14.2%及1.6%,緬尼吐巴為22.1%及1.4%,育空為10.6%及5.3%。
安大略僅有4.9%房屋氡氣濃度超過國家指引,魁北克則有9%,而努納伏的房屋都沒有超高水準的氡氣。

Related web:
http://www.radonaware.ca/
Health Canada
BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC)
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
WHO International Radon Project / WHO Handbook on Indoor Radon (September 2009)
世卫组织 - 氡与癌症
US Environmental Protection Agency
Radon: Truth vs. myth / Radon: Risk and Reality
The Radon Information Center (for test equipment)
房屋及其他居所內的氡氣 / Radon in Homes and Other Dwellings - HealthLinkBC

Related news:
2009/02/09 VHIJ - Is Radon gas in your home? 您家有氡氣嗎?
2010/12/01 Sing Tao - 全國7%房屋 氡氣濃度過高