• Mario Carr

Fire prevention week could save your life


The Burlington Fire Department is hosting the Ontario Fire Marshal on Monday, Oct. 6 at the annual provincial kickoff of Fire Prevention Week at Haber Recreation Centre in Burlington.

The province-wide initiative runs from Oct. 5 to 11 and focuses on the two lines of defense: education and fire prevention. This year’s theme is Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Monthly.

“Testing your smoke alarm may be the easiest test you ever take,” said Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief, Emergency Management Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek. “If that’s the case, why do so many people continue to die in fires where they didn’t have a working smoke alarm or home escape plan? Maintain and test your smoke alarms to ensure you have the early warning to survive a fire.”

Traditionally, the Burlington Fire Department hosts an open house to mark Fire Prevention Week. Since Fire Station #1, Headquarters, is being renovated, the fire department is using other tools to share important fire safety tips.

“Public safety goes beyond boundaries,” said Burlington Fire Chief Tony Bavota. “Burlington has created a fire safety video with a fun, yet important, message that we hope all fire services will share with their communities.”

The Burlington Fire Department is encouraging families to test the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their homes to ensure they are working as part of Fire Prevention Week 2014. Working smoke and CO alarms increase the chances of surviving a fire by up to 50 per cent. In one out of three fatal home fires, there was no alarm or the alarm was not working. The Fire Marshal’s office says that newer homes burn up to eight times faster than home 50 years ago and every second counts, and that testing smoke and CO alarms monthly may be the easiest test a family ever takes.

Key fire prevention tips include:

  • Install a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. Larger homes may need more for full protection. For added protection, think about installing smoke alarms inside all bedrooms.

  • Test your smoke alarms every month. Replace smoke alarms after 10 years.

  • Change batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.

  • Develop and practise a home fire escape plan so that when the smoke alarm sounds, everyone knows what to do and where to go.

  • Reach out to neighbours, friends and relatives that may need help maintaining and testing their smoke alarms and with making their home escape plan.

For more information, visit www.burlington.ca/fire or www.ontario.ca/firemarshal, call 905-637-9536 or email firedepartment@burlington.ca.

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