St. Catharines firefighters are going into neighbourhoods across St. Catharines on Saturday afternoons in December with information for residents about fire safety over the holidays.
The initiative started last Saturday and is part of St. Catharines Fire’s Alarmed for Life fire safety awareness program. As part of the program firefighters will offer home safety checks and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms.
“We care about the safety of our residents and want to help them be safe over the holidays,” said Deputy Fire Chief Frank Biancucci. “We know smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and home escape plans save lives and we are bringing this message right to our residents.
Home safety checks are voluntary and residents can choose whether or not to invite firefighters into their homes. If firefighters discover a property is missing working smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms during the Alarmed for Life home visit they will offer to replace the batteries or install new alarms for a minimal fee to cover the costs of the devices.
Firefighters have already visited 4,000 homes between August and November this year and are hoping to have an opportunity to visit 500 more homes over the next three Saturdays.
Residents who don’t receive a visit from firefighters but want to discuss smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, home fire safety or have other questions can call 905.688.5601 ext. 4224
Staying Safe This Holiday Season
The deputy fire chief urges residents to pay special attention when cooking during the holidays and to drink responsibly. Careless cooking is the leading cause of fires in Ontario and the second leading cause of fatal fires any time of year. Biancucci said holiday festivities can add more distraction and reminds everyone to stay in the kitchen when cooking.
Smoking is another leading cause of fires during the holiday season and the deputy fire chief suggests people smoke outside. Whether inside or out, smokers must always extinguish cigarettes in large, deep ashtrays. Smokers should never extinguish cigarettes in plant pots because they may contain peat moss, shredded bark and other material that can easily ignite. Biancucci said ashes should be emptied in a metal container, not the garbage can, and put outside.
Fire Safety Tips:
- If a pot catches fire, don’t try to move it. Cover the pot with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
- Keep things that can burn, such as cooking utensils and paper towels, away from the stove as they can easily ignite if they are too close.
- Before going to bed make sure all cigarettes are properly extinguished and the stove is off.
- Check sofas and chairs for cigarettes that may have fallen between the cushions.
- Use flameless candles.
- If you use traditional candles keep them in sturdy fire-proof holders and away from children, pets or anything that could catch fire.
Never leave candles unattended.
- Keep candles and cigarettes away from Christmas trees and decorations.
- Make sure real trees always have enough water so they don’t dry out.
- Develop and practise a home escape plan with everyone in the home.
BOTTOM LINE: A great initiative by local firefighters to keep everyone safe during this festive time of year!
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