12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety

4th Annual Media Kick-off for Province-wide Holiday Safety Campaign

 
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101 Toronto Fire Inspectors Kick-off Ontario’s 4th Annual “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” Campaign

TORONTO, ON – The Toronto Fire Services officially launched Ontario’s 4th annual “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” campaign today with its largest-ever public assembly of Fire Inspectors at the Scarborough Town Centre.

The 101 Fire Inspectors joined Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Yasir Naqvi, Toronto Fire Chief Jim Sales and Ontario Fire Marshal Ross Nichols to kick-off the province-wide program by giving away 1,010 gift bags containing Kidde Smoke alarms and other holiday education and safety items.  The safety entourage, representing half of the city’s public education and fire inspector staff, fanned out in the mall with 10 gift bags each.

Minister Yasir Naqvi says, “This is a very special time of year when families and friends come together to celebrate the holiday season. ‘The 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety’ outlines some easy steps we can all take to ensure a festive, joyful, and safe holiday season. It also reminds us of the dedication and hard work of our emergency services personnel who often spend time away from family and loved ones to keep us safe.”

“We believe having such a large group of uniformed officers in one place sends a strong message on the need for extra vigilance over the holidays,” says Ross Nichols, Ontario’s Fire Marshal.  “Holiday festivities can quickly turn tragic due to things like unattended cooking, careless smoking, faulty decorative lighting, the increased use of heating equipment, and smoke or CO alarms that have expired or have been tampered with,” he adds.

“Two serious incidents that occurred recently in the city underscore the need for the public to be fire and CO aware,” says Fire Chief Jim Sales. “In one instance, a family barely avoided a catastrophe after one of the occupants disconnected their CO alarm because they thought it was faulty and, in another, a man almost died because his home had no smoke alarm.”

In response, fire departments all across the province are inviting homeowners to review and follow the 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety tips, available for download at www.safetahome.ca/12days.  The public, safety industry members and media are also encouraged to follow @safeathometips to watch for and share fire and CO safety tweets beginning Wednesday, December 9 and continuing until Christmas Eve.

“Helping avoid a fire or carbon monoxide incident where you live, ultimately comes down to the homeowner’s diligence ensuring they are armed with smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that work, and a healthy dose of knowledge on how the alarms function and when they need to be maintained and replaced,” says Carol Heller, a home safety expert with Kidde Canada.

That advice seems understated when one considers that a small flame triggered by holiday hazards can double in size every 30 seconds, and it can take as few as 3-5 minutes for an entire house to fill with dense, dark smoke and become engulfed in flames.

The 12 Days of Holiday FIre Safety puts a heavy focus on fire prevention, preparing and practicing a home fire escape plan, and replacing smoke alarms over 10 years old and CO alarms made before 2008.
When buying or replacing smoke or CO alarms, consumers can benefit by latest-generation worry-free safety features such as tamper-proof construction, 10-year lithium batteries that never need changing and special chirps to indicate the alarm needs replacing.

The 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety Contest on www.safeathome.ca also provides a chance for homeowners to win one of 25 Worry-Free Holiday Fire Safety Gift Packs with a combined value of over $5,000.

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For more information:
Conrad Galambos, 905-979-7039, [email protected]