Test your smoke alarms now!

On March 4, the fatal fire problem in Canada was aired on CBC’s The National, which reported on the lack of working smoke alarms in homes across our country.
The next day, the Fire Marshal of Ontario appeared on CBC television to share some valuable fire safety tips on working smoke alarms.
The reason for his appearance was to address the serious fire safety problem that plaques many communities in Ontario and the rest of Canada.
Most recently, there has been a rash of fatal fires across Canada, as well as many fire injuries.
All of these fire deaths were tragic, but it was extremely upsetting and heart-breaking to learn many of the victims were children—so many years of potential life lost!
Many of these fire deaths across Canada could have been prevented if working smoke alarms were present.
The majority of fire deaths in Canada take place in the home, where we all feel safe and secure. As well, most home fire deaths occur late at night in homes and cottages without working smoke alarms!
In the 1980s, a firefighter stated that more than 300 people die each year in Canada due to fatal fires. The number of fatal fires 25 years ago was a lot higher than 300.
In fact, the fire death rate in Canada may be dropping, but more than 300 Canadians continue to lose their lives to fire each year. It’s a trend that is consistent—and continues to date!
Fire safety also needs to be practised when parents/caregivers send a child to a sleepover. Are working smoke alarms present in the home where the sleepover will take please?
Have you ever asked?
When vacationing to foreign countries, was there or will there be working smoke alarms present in the hotel, hostel, or other type of lodging where you stayed or will stay at?
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Wake up—test your smoke alarms now!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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