In December Madawaska Valley Fire Chief Corwin Quade shared with us his fear that Ontario was heading for a record year for fatal fires. He noted that up to the end of October 2021 there had been 83 fatal fires that killed 100 people. He pointed out that during the last week of November alone, eight people died in fires.
Quade said, “Again I remind people that only working smoke alarms save lives. You have less than a minute to get out when the alarm sounds. A fire will double in size every 30 seconds and buildings now burn eight times faster than they did 50 years ago.”
- If you hear the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off, get outside and call 9-1-1- from a safe distance.
- Smoke Alarms are required on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area (Note: in the case of a new house or a major home renovation, alarms must be smoke, carbon monoxide, strobe light combination units; they need to be interconnected. Along with this they are required in every bedroom.)
- Clean the dryer lint out of the dryer after every use.
- Always make sure that only seasoned wood is burned in your stove, fire place, or furnace. (Note: dried wood is wood that has been cut into firewood length and allowed to dry outside for a season. You cannot bring wood indoors and dry it on top of a stove. As funny as this sounds, it happens and it is very dangerous)
- The chimney should be cleaned at least once a year before using your wood burning appliance. Chimney brushes need to be run through the chimney.
- If you are cooking never leave items unattended. If you must leave the area, first turn off what is being cooked. Unattended cooking is one of the leading causes of structure fires.
- Don’t smoke in bed.
Landlords and tenants are both responsible for smoke alarms in apartments or rental properties. Rental properties require combination smoke, carbon monoxide alarms, with a strobe light and must all be interconnected. The alarms must be located in every sleeping area and on every level of the building.
Quade finished his reminders with: “Should someone have any questions in regards to fire safety contact your local fire service. They are more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.”