Q7 The Sprinkler alarm goes off. ( An ear-splitting noise. It is located in the attic so that you cannot turn it off). What does it mean and what shall I do?
A7. If there is a fire, the Smoke alarm goes off first ( Beep, Beep, Beep..)since it is activated by smoke. (See note 2 below). The Sprinkler system is activated by heat and it also quickly detects a fire, goes off and sounds a very loud siren-type alarm. If FIRE is your problem, call 911.
However, if the SMOKE ALARM is NOT beeping and if there is NO FIRE - be absolutely sure! - there is probably a break in one of the sprinkler heads which set the sprinkler alarm off. To stop the sprinklers from flooding your house, go to the furnace room and turn off the red handle above the blue coupling on the pipe coming up from the floor. In order to stop the alarm, the owner has to call ALLIED FIRE & SAFETY, Telephone no. 604-533-2876 to come and reset the sprinkler head to stop the alarm and/or repair the broken pipe.
(Strata insurance pays for sprinkler failures because the attic area is common property. If the owner was negligent, however, the Strata Corp. will demand you pay for the $10,000 deductible (2014) - that is why you need to have that kind of coverage included in your Condo Insurance policy) .
Note 1. If you decide you can't stand the noise of the alarm and cut the wires it will cost you about $600 to have it reconnected. Strata Insurance does not pay for such willful acts. While you may be relieved of the noise, there is no protection in case of fire for up to four inter-connected homes. Strata insurance would not pay for this should a fire occur with the alarm system turned off. Please do NOT do that. Put in some ear-plugs :o)
Note 2 SMOKE ALARMS: The two Smoke Alarms are wired into our electrical system. They DO NOT have back-up batteries. In case of a power failure you will have no alarm. Please watch your candles.
As long as the green light is on, the Smoke alarm is enabled. Look up at it regularly and if it isn't on, advise the Caretaker who will have it checked out. Every Unit received 2 new Smoke alarms on April 30, 2008. The life of the alarms are thought to be 8 to 10 years.
Q8. If the water pipe is leaking at the coupling below the red shut-off handle and we therefore need to turn off the Municipal water pipe at the street, what should I do and whom do I call for help?
A8. The Municipal water turn-off is located below ground in your garage apron. Look for a small imbedded octagonal nut in the aggregate. A one-fits-all key is stored in five of the six sheds around the complex (not in the garden shed -#2). It is available with the assistance of the Caretaker, the President, or the Vice President, or a designate in the absence of one. The wrought iron key is about five feet long and T shaped. It unscrews the octagonal nut (use the end of the T) and the bottom of the key has a slot which fits into the water main shut-off valve. You give it a quarter turn and it shuts the Municipal water main off.