Fire Prevention Week

Tips for being fire safe

Check back for new safety tips and fire concerns daily during Fire Prevention Week – October 9-15

Don’t Wait, Check The Date

Tuesday Oct 11

Do you have smoke alarms in your home? Are they working? In 35 per cent of fatal home fires over the last five years, there was no smoke alarm warning, and in 13 per cent of those fires, there were no smoke alarms at all. Fire services across Ontario are hoping you won’t wait, that you will check the date on the smoke alarms in your home to see if they’ve expired. Even if they are not outdated, Barrie fire and Life Safety Officer Samantha Hoffmann says you need to test them now-and-then to ensure they are operating a peak efficiency…

smoke-alarm-dateIf you can’t find an expiry date on your alarm, that means it is too old and needs to be replaced. The Ontario Fire Code requires all Ontario homeowners to install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. The following fire prevention measures can help keep you and your family safe:
• Replace smoke alarms according to the manufacturer’s date, usually found on the back of the alarm
• Test alarms monthly
• Change the batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year
• Reach out to neighbours, friends and relatives who may need assistance with maintaining and testing their smoke alarms

And if you need more convincing:

• In 35 per cent of fatal home fires over the last five years, there was no smoke alarm warning. In 13 per cent of those fires, there were no smoke alarms at all
• On average, 36 injuries and six fatalities from home fires occur in October each year
• Top ignition sources for the month of October include cooking, heating equipment and electrical distribution equipment (i.e., wiring)

In the hope of getting the Don’t Wait, Check The Date message across, Barrie Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Weber has turned to karaoke, changing the words to Willie Nelson’s hit Always On My Mind to Never Crossed My Mind

Fire Stats Not All Doom And Gloom

Tuesday Oct 11

The damage done by fire can be insurmountable, in terms of dollar loss and in terms of the loss of personal property. But Ken Corriveau, Fire Prevention Officer with the Midland Fire Service, says there is one number that is going lower…

According to information provided by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the number of fires reported involving death or significant injury has gone down 17% alone since 2009.  Corriveau says one of the biggest players in that decrease is kids. He says children are one of a fire service’s greatest assets in spreading the Fire Safety message throughout the years. However, he does add while people’s actions have become more fire safe of late, the materials we’re using to build with, are not…

He adds one of the best things we can do to counteract that is practice a home escape plan with everyone in the home, something we will touch on in greater detail as Fire Prevention Week continues.

Fire Danger At Wasaga Beach Increased Due To Number Of Seasonal Residents

Wednesday Oct 12

They’re mandatory, but not everyone has outfitted their homes with smoke alarms. And some who have don’t ensure they’re working properly. The problem magnified at Wasaga Beach, says Fire Chief Mike McWilliam, by the number of seasonal residents in the community…

That’s especially so, says McWilliam, in cottages and trailers…

Fire Doesn’t Just Affect Your Home Or Cottage, It Could Also Strike Your Vehicle

Wednesday Oct 12

We’ve talked house and cottage fires during Fire Prevention Week, what to do in the event of one or how to prevent it, but another thing that could catch fire on you is your vehicle. Jeff Corriveau is the Fire Prevention Officer with Springwater Fire Service and he says a car fire isn’t like what you’ve come to expect.

He goes on to say the primary causes of vehicle fires are usually a question of simple maintenance.

Corriveau adds if you’re among the prepared, and have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle, feel free to tackle it if the flames aren’t too big…

If Kids Can Do It and How About Dinner…On Firefighters

Thursday October 13

The theme of fire prevention week is Don’t Wait, Check The Date to ensure your smoke alarm is in peak operating condition. But it shouldn’t end there. Samantha Hoffmann, Barrie’s Fire and Life Safety Officer says you need to push-the-button once a month to make sure it’s still working – something they’ve been able to get kids to do with the help of TVO Kids…

And, in an effort to get you to replace outdated smoke alarms, the Barrie Fire and Emergency Service is offering an incentive…

Hoffman says you can drop off your old alarms at Number One Station on Dunlop Street or at Barrie’s Rec Centres. (She is also quick to add that firefighters are very good cooks!)  Click here for details.

Do You Have An Escape Plan If The Worst Were To Happen?

Thursday October 13

So far over Fire Prevention Week, we’ve touched on all the ways you can keep you and yours safe from fire, but what about when the worst happens, and your house does catch fire? Well, that’s where an escape plan comes in handy. Ken Corriveau, Midland’s Fire Prevention Officer, says your plan shouldn’t just be in your head.

Once that plan is down on paper, Corriveau says you have to practice, practice, practice

You can read more on the subject, and download and print off an Escape Plan template through the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs website.

Fighting The Fire Yourself? Remember PASS

Friday October 14

Do you have a fire extinguisher in your house…just in case? Do you know how to use it? Jeff Corriveau, the Fire Prevention Officer in Springwater Township says remembering the acronym PASS will help…

Corriveau says you need to use your best judgement when fighting your own fire. If it’s small and you’re confident with an extinguisher, give it a go. If it’s large, best to get out. At the end of the day, he says, your stuff can be replaced – but you can’t.