In the Community

Dawson City Boosts Fire and CO Safety

 
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Cases of Kidde “Worry-Free” smoke and carbon monoxide alarms sit awaiting distribution to all residents in Dawson City, Yukon.

Dawson City Shows Leadership in Protecting Its Residents

DAWSON CITY, YUKON – Firefighters from the Dawson City Fire Department and the Klondike Valley Fire Department have undertaken a special job: to visit homes across the Klondike to make sure all households have a working combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide alarm. They will provide and install free combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms to households without them. If firefighters find no one home, they will leave information and a telephone number to arrange for a return visit.

The City of Dawson, together with the Dawson City Firefighters Association; Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation; Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada; Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office; Klondike Valley Firefighters Association; Association of Yukon Fire Chiefs; Kluane Freight Lines Ltd; and Klondike MLA Sandy Silver teamed up with Kidde Canada in launching the combination smoke/carbon monoxide campaign. This campaign, intended to ensure every home in the Klondike has a working smoke/CO alarm, is part of a broad initiative to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries.

While research predicts working smoke alarms could reduce fire deaths by as much as 32%, statistics show almost 70% of smoke alarms in Canadian homes that caught fire from 2006-2011 were not functioning. Our most vulnerable populations – such as children and the elderly – face the highest risk of dying in a residential fire.

“Working smoke/carbon monoxide alarms are essential to keeping families safe and I am proud of all the firefighters who are taking the time to visit Klondikers in their homes. Together we are building a safer community”, Fire Chief Jim Regimbal said.

Kidde Canada donated 120 of the 900 combination alarms that have now arrived at Dawson’s fire department (with a total retail value of $6,000) to support the goal of the campaign – to have functioning smoke/carbon monoxide alarms in every household in the Klondike, said Dawson City’s Fire Chief Jim Regimbal.

“When Chief Regimbal contacted us with his plan to outfit every residence in his community with fire and carbon monoxide protection, we couldn’t help but be impressed with his leadership and true concern for the safety of Dawson City residents,” said Carol Heller, a home safety specialist with Kidde. “By combining a partial Kidde alarm donation with local financial backing, Chief Regimbal’s vision to improve the safety of every home under his watch came true and for that we applaud him.”

John Gignac, a former firefighter and co-executive director of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education, also shared his congratulations for Dawson City’s bold move. “After losing four members of my family to carbon monoxide poisoning in 2008, and watching the Yukon community suffer the loss of five citizens to the same silent killer just two years ago, I am proud of Chief Regimbal for making sure the smoke alarms he chose also feature a state-of-the art CO sensor. And with a 10-year sealed battery that can’t be tampered with, these alarms will be protecting families for the next decade.”

Mr. Gignac was honored to be in the Yukon Legislature when Yukon became the first jurisdiction in Canada to make carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all homes.

“As much as Dawson City is the lead in this life-saving campaign, I can only see it spreading out to the rest of the Yukon in short order”, said Chief Regimbal.

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John Gignac of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for CO Education
kicks off a northern visit en route to Dawson City.