The Christmas holiday season typically is one of the most dangerous times of the years.
Most recently, there has been a rash of fires across Canada, including the district in which I live in.
One recent home fire could have been deadly. Thankfully, the occupant of the home escaped with just the clothes they had on into the chilling cold of the night.
One thing that many firefighters across Canada fear is when the alarm at the fire station or the one on their pagers sounds during the Christmas season, especially during the late night or early hours of the morning.
Typically, each and every year, firefighters attend fatal home fires all too often during the Christmas season.
It’s extremely important for all Canadians to correctly locate, install, and maintain working smoke alarms on every level and outside all sleeping areas of the home and cottage.
Install working smoke alarms inside all bedrooms for added protection.
Since the 1980s, not having working smoke alarms installed in the home was the contributing factor in all of the fatal home fires which I attended. I have never attended a fatal home fire where working smoke alarms were present.
A well-rehearsed home fire escape plan, with two ways out of each room, is just as important. However, the unfortunate truth is most Canadians do not have a home fire escape plan.
And many people who said they had a plan have never practised it!
When fire strikes a home or cottage, the occupants have less than one minute to escape. If fire strikes your home or cottage, will you have time to escape?
Correctly located and installed working smoke alarms can increase your chances of surviving a fire should one strike.
Working smoke alarms—don’t stay home without them!
We all need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.
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