The focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is ensuring everyone has a fire safety plan and practices their escape.
“It’s important that every family has a fire safety plan and that they practice the plan so they know what to do in an emergency,” said Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen, minister responsible for the Office of the Fire Commissioner. “It doesn’t take long to prepare and can be a good family project. Practicing the escape plan could make the difference between getting out unharmed and being trapped inside if a fire breaks out. Knowing what to do could make everyone in the family a hero.”
This year’s theme, ‘Not Every Hero Wears a Cape, Plan and Practice Your Escape’, encourages people to plan and practice their escape plan. Some important tips to remember include:
- drawing a map of the home and mark two exits from each room;
- practicing the fire drill twice a year including one at night;
- practicing different ways out;
- teaching children to escape on their own in case an adult cannot help them;
- making sure everyone in the house knows how to call 911 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or the neighbour’s phone;
- closing doors as people leave, as it helps slow the spread of smoke and fire; and
- once people are outside, stay outside and never go back into a burning building.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), once a smoke alarm sounds, people may have less than two minutes to escape. The Office of the Fire Commissioner and the Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs, along with fire departments throughout the province, encourage all Manitobans to have an escape plan and know what to do when a fire alarm sounds.
“Fire safety is such an important topic,” said Brad Yochim, president, Manitoba Association of Fire Chiefs. “It only takes a few minutes to make a map of your home with two exits out of every room, test your smoke alarm and choose an outside meeting place. Practicing your escape is simple and makes everyone in the home a hero.”
This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following safety tips:
- install smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas and in every bedroom for maximum protection;
- remove smoke alarms from the wall or ceiling, check for the manufacture date then replace any that are 10 years old or older;
- interconnect hard-wired smoke alarms throughout the home so when one sounds, they all do;
- test alarms monthly;
- ensure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands they should get outside immediately if they hear it;
- agree on a family meeting place; and
- stay outside and call the fire department.
To find out more about Fire Prevention Week programs and activities across the province, contact the OFC at www.firecomm.gov.mb.ca.