July 18th, 2024

Time change a reminder to check smoke detectors, says City’s new chief fire marshal

By Lethbridge Herald on March 8, 2024.

Troy Hicks, recently promoted to chief fire marshal for Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services, reminds residents to check their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors while they’re changing the clocks this weekend to daylight saving time. Herald photo by Delon Shurtz

Delon Shurtz – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

When was the last time you checked your home smoke detector? Does it still work? Does the battery still have a charge? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, shouldn’t you?

Troy Hicks thinks you should, and as the city’s chief fire marshal, Hicks says it could mean the difference between life and death.

“Every second counts,” Hicks said Friday at fire headquarters downtown, where he urged residents to regularly check their smoke detectors.

“Residential smoke detectors should be inspected twice a year to ensure they are in the best working order in the event of an emergency,” Hicks said. “To check your smoke detectors, ensure the expiry date is not within the next six months and swap out the batteries for news ones. If your smoke detector is more than 10 years-old, it should be replaced.”

The Fire Prevention Bureau of Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services reminds residents twice a year; in March when Albertans observe daylight saving time, and again in November when they revert back to standard time. Hicks says the small devices are easy to overlook, but their value is significant.

“It’s a very small tool, but unbelievably important,” he said. “Everyone’s homes should definitely have a minimum of one, and depending on the size, you should have a smoke detector on every floor of your home. You should also have smoke detectors outside all bedrooms.”

Some newer homes, Hicks noted, may even have smoke detectors in the bedrooms.

Hicks hopes when people remember to change their clocks twice a year, they’ll also remember to check their smoke detectors, as well as their carbon monoxide detectors.

“When you’re changing your clocks, grab a step ladder, take a look at it.”

Hicks also encourages residents to spend a few minutes making sure everyone in their home recognizes the sound of the smoke alarm and knows what to do in case of a fire. They should also go over fire escape plans, how to use the fire extinguishers and where they are located.

Aside from smoke detectors, Hicks reminds residents to check their homes for other fire hazards, especially during the Spring as the temperature begins to warm up and people open their windows to let in fresh air. He warns against having a candle or “Scentsy” near the window where wind could blow curtains into the flame and start a fire.

He also urges residents to exercise caution when using their backyard fire pits or heading to the river bottom for a barbecue, and remember how dry southern Alberta typically is, especially this year.

“Keep your eyes and ears open to any fire bans or any fire restrictions that could either be from the province or from the city itself. It is extremely dry.”

Hicks said residents are responsible to check the city’s bylaw for restrictions, such as what can be burned and when burning is allowed.

“It’s your responsibility as the homeowner or the renter, to make sure you know those rules, because there are monetary fines that could come through bylaw, through the Fire Prevention Bureau.”

Hicks noted, however, the city would rather protect its residents than take money from them.

“It’s just to make sure people follow the rules and understand, because they are there for a reason, they’re there to keep our beautiful city standing and not have any undue fires.”

Hicks knows of what he speaks. He has been a fire prevention officer with the department’s Fire and Emergency Services since 2011, and just last month he was promoted to chief fire marshal.

“I’m very excited to be promoted to this new position and continue to serve our community and work alongside the skilled and talented people of Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services.”

Serving his community and country has been his lifelong passion. Before joining fire and emergency services, Hicks served as an army reservist in 1999 in Saint John, New Brunswick, before joining the regular forces in 1994. Following his deployment to Afghanistan in 2002, Hicks moved to the Air Force as a firefighter in 2003 before several more deployments in Alberta and Ontario, and even the North Pole, where he was stationed for six months as deputy fire chief.

“I got there in April of 2010 and everything was white and it was 24 hours of daylight.”

And while it was a “little chilly,” he noted there have been days when it’s been colder in Lethbridge.

Lethbridge became home after meeting his wife, Jan, who was also in the armed forces, and invited him to the city to see where she grew up.

“I really enjoyed that initial trip to Lethbridge and instantly connected with the area, the people and the community.”

In 2011 he applied for a job as a fire prevention officer, and he hasn’t looked back.

“I’m so grateful to have been part of this department for the past 12 years and have my dream job, serving the community I am proud to call home.”

Share this story:

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Southern Albertan

Time change, a reminder, to pressure our provincial government to remain at Mountain Standard Time year round.


I am creating an honest wage from home of 1900 Dollars/week, which is wonderful, below a year gone I was unemployed during an atrocious economy. I convey God daily. I used to be endowed with these directions and currently, I have to pay it forward and share it with everybody,

Here is where I started……….  W­­w­­w­­.­­S­­m­­a­­r­t­w­­o­­r­­k­­1­­.­­C­­o­­m


i suggest we we move back only a half hour in the fall, and leave it alone thereafter. splitting the difference seems a reasonable solution to this far too long example of idiots micromanaging people at large.