Look. Listen. Learn. Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere – that’s the staccato slogan that accompanies this year’s Fire Prevention Week, which started on Sunday and will run until Saturday, Oct. 13.
Greg Nicol, Owen Sound Fire & Emergency Services Fire Prevention Officer, was at the Riverforest Montessori School in Owen Sound on Tuesday heading a presentation on fire safety.
With the young students looking on Nicol stressed the importance of fire prevention through routine precautions. Making sure the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are properly placed and powered. Ensuring parents safely dispose of their cigarettes and stay in the kitchen while cooking. Checking electrical cords for damage, fraying, or nicks.
Most fires start in the kitchen, but careless smoking, unattended candles, faulty wiring and improper use of tools and equipment are all risks than can lead to ignition.
Many of the precautions necessary to avoid these risks can be done by simply looking, listening, and being aware, Nicol impressed upon the students.
Nicol said everyone should learn two ways out of every room, and where to meet once they are safely out of the house. A proper fire-escape plan helps with a calm and quick exit out of a burning building if prepared and drilled ahead of time.
When one student said they would have to stop to save their dog, Nicol stressed that spending seconds searching for a pet in a home on fire is spending seconds they don’t have.
He shared a news story from Canada about a 10-year-old boy who died when he ran back in to a burning home to try and save the family pet. Both the dog and boy perished in the fire.
“Everyone has a responsibility to protect their family and home from fire. Prevention is always the best course of action. Identify potential fire hazards in your home and take action to make sure a fire doesn’t start,” said Fire Chief, Doug Barfoot in a press release. “Only working smoke alarms give you the early notification of fire and the time you and your family need to safely escape. Many fatal fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, so early warning is crucial to survival.”
Owen Sound Fire and Emergency Serviceswill host Coffee with a Firefighter at McDonald’s Restaurant at the Walmart located at 1555 18th Ave East on Friday, October 12from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in support of Fire Prevention Week and the 2018 fire prevention campaign. The event will include a fire truck on location with fire prevention staff and Deputy Fire Chief to answer your questions on fire safety.