Ontario Fire Prevention week 2011 underway – learn to protect your family

This banner hanging on the fence outside the Coe Hill fire hall reminds homeowners to change smoke alarm batteries when clocks change back to standard time Nov. 6, 2011.

Press release from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office

Fire Prevention Week is October 9 to 15, 2011. This year’s theme is Protect Your Family from Fire.

Designed to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities from fires, the theme emphasizes the importance of Ontarians taking responsibility for fire safety in their own homes. Fire departments across the province will host events throughout the week that focus on a variety of fire safety measures to help Ontario families protect themselves from fire, including:

– Preventing cooking fires: The leading cause of residential fires in Ontario is unattended cooking. Prevent these fires by staying in the kitchen when cooking.

– Installing smoke alarms: It’s the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Fire departments also recommend installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms every month and change the batteries at least once a year or whenever the low-battery warning chirps.

– Developing a home fire escape plan: Occupants can have as little as 60 seconds to escape a fire in their home. Develop and practice a home fire escape plan so that everyone knows what do if a fire occurs.

Each October, Fire Prevention Week enables fire departments across the province to organize a variety of educational fire safety activities within their communities. It also commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 in which an estimated 300 people tragically perished and some 18,000 buildings were destroyed.

For more information about activities in your area, contact your local fire department.

“Fires can be prevented,” said Ted Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal.

“Given the limited amount of time you have to escape a fire, Ontarians need to take responsibility for fire safety in their homes. I strongly urge Ontarians to stay in the kitchen while they are cooking, install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas and practise their home fire escape plans. Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility.”


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