SIX NATIONS – Three out of five home fires happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms — or in homes without working smoke alarms.
October 9 to 15 is Fire Prevention Week on Six Nations and the fire and emergency services department wants to remind the community how important fire safety and prevention is.
Smoke alarms and detectors are designed to alert a household of a fire and smoke, but like almost all things electronic — they don’t last forever and should be replaced every 10 years, or, whenever the expiry date says to on the back of the device. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly and also be installed on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. It’s a good idea to also place an alarm in every bedroom.
“This year our fire service family will be visiting each and every school within the Six Nations Community visiting as many classes as we possibly can,” reads a post by Fire Chief Matthew Millers on Facebook. “We will also be out in the community sharing this year’s national fire safety message ‘Don’t Wait, Check the date of your smoke alarms’.”
Community members can take an active role in fire safety and prevention this year by joining the fire and service team in its selfie challenge.
“Join in with us by taking part in the ‘Don’t Wait Check the date Selfie Challenge” take a selfie of you and your family checking the date of your smoke alarms. Post it in our Six Nations Fire and Emergency Service Facebook group or tag me [Matthew Miller] and you could win one of multiple fire prevention safety prize packs,” Miller wrote.
In addition to testing and replacing smoke alarms, it’s also really important for families to develop a Home Escape Plan.
“It is vital that you know what to do when the smoke alarms sound in an emergency,” reads a statement released by Fire and Emergency Services. “Sit down and discuss how each person will get out in a fire.”
Once you are out of the house, stay out, and don’t go back in for any personal belongings. Call 9-1-1 from outside; never re-enter a burning building.
Six Nations Fire and Emergency Services says that individuals need to be outside of their homes by the time they arrive.
“Despite their best efforts, the fire department may not arrive quickly enough to save you from a fire. You need to be outside when the firefighters arrive,” reads the statement.
After a week of visiting schools and informing community members, students and children on fire safety and prevention, the fire department will be having an open house and barbecue at the new headquarters in Ohsweken.
“We will also be having a Chili Cookoff that is open to the community,” writes Miller. “Top chili chef will win smoke alarms for their homes.”
For info on the chili cook off contact Deputy Fire Chief Vince Martin at (519) 732-1835 or firstname.lastname@example.org.