Orangeville Fire Chief Ronald Morden is urging families in Dufferin County to practise their home escape plan as part of Fire Prevention Week (October 8-14, 2017). This year’s fire prevention message is “every second counts, plan two ways out”!
“Fire and smoke move faster than you,” said Chief Morden. “There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home after the fire has started and the alarms are sounding. Practise an escape plan with your family to ensure everyone can get out safely.”
Research shows that 30 years ago you had about 17 minutes to escape a house fire. Today, you may have less than three minutes. The reason: newer homes and the furniture in them actually burn faster, hotter and create more toxic smoke. Legacy furniture consisted of natural materials such as wood, wool and cotton. This type of furniture takes longer to burn and doesn’t create toxic smoke like modern furniture does. Modern furniture is made from particle board, plastic and fabrics that contain blends of nylon and polyester. These materials burn faster…a lot faster! And they create deadly smoke!
Here are some things to consider when developing your home escape plan:
- Assess the needs of everyone in your home. Determine who will assist small children and those who require assistance evacuating the home.
- Ensure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home.
- Ensure you have working smoke and CO alarms outside every sleeping area of your home.
- Identify all possible exits (doors and windows) and make sure they open. Know two ways out of every room, if possible.
- Everyone must know what to do if the alarm sounds. Identify a safe meeting place that is located outside, at the front of your home. Call the fire department from outside the home using your cell phone or the neighbour’s phone.
- Practise your escape plan at least twice a year. Have everyone participate and make changes if necessary.
- If you live in an apartment, building be familiar with the evacuation procedures. If you are uncertain, contact the building manager or superintendent.
The Orangeville Fire Department is hosting an Open House on October 12, 2017 from 5-7 p.m. at 10 Dawson Road, in support of Fire Prevention Week. Enjoy refreshments and meet local emergency responders. The fire department has partnered with Domino’s for this year’s open house event. A fire truck could deliver your order on October 11, 2017. Make sure you have working smoke/CO alarms as required and you may be eligible to win a prize that includes a coupon for a free pizza. For more information, visit www.orangeville.ca/fire-department or visit the Orangeville Fire Department’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.