| Dec 27, 2007

Christmas Edition - December 20, 2007

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Christmas Edition - December 20, 2007 Survive the Holidays: Fire Safety Norman Mills,Fire Prevention Officer, North Frontenac Township

While the holiday season can be one of the most festive times of the year, it also can be one of the deadliest. Already, eight people have died in fires in Ontario since November 1, 2007. The fact that these fires occurred in a number of cities across the province shows that fires can happen anywhere, at anytime. You need to be prepared to protect your family and home.

It's the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas in your home. Installing and maintaining working smoke alarms can provide you with the early warning you need to escape a fire. Failure to comply with the smoke alarm law can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $100,000.

But the best way to protect your family and home from fire is to prevent one from starting in the first place. The most common causes of home fires during the holidays are candles and careless cooking- Alcohol is often a contributing factor.

Some key tips to prevent these fires:

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Remember to always place lit candles out of reach of children and pets, where they can't be knocked over, and away from anything that can burn such as holiday decorations. Candles should be covered by glass chimneys and kept out of bedrooms. Always snuff out candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

The most common type of cooking fire is cooking left unattended on the stove. Make sure you always stay in the kitchen when cooking, especially when cooking with oil or at high temperatures. Keep a lid by the stove so that if a fire does start, you can slide the lid over the pot to extinguish the fire. Keep combustible materials like plastic spoons and tea towels away from the stove.

Many fire deaths are caused by people attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. Don't let this happen in your home. Keep a close eye on drinkers and install working smoke alarms on every storey of your home.

Fire and smoke spread so quickly you may have as little as 60 seconds to escape if a fire does start in your home. Make sure everyone in your home knows exactly what to do if the smoke alarms sound. Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with your entire family. Your escape plan should include who will help the very young, older adults or anyone else who may require assistance.

The North Frontenac Township Fire Department knows all too well how quickly celebrations can turn to tragedies when you forget to include fire safety in your holiday plans. Consider these simple tips to ensure your family has a safe and happy holiday.

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