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FIRE! Get out, NOW!!

I hope to never have the need to shout those words. According to statistics provided by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office, house fires, no matter how they are started, claim someone’s life every 35 minutes, and seniors aged 75 and older have the highest risk of dying in a house fire. I do not want to be such a statistic.

It was National Fire Prevention week (Oct. 5-11) as I wrote this article. My social media feeds were full of articles about fire chiefs across Canada that were expressing their disappointment with the number of homes without smoke alarms. This should not be the case in this day and age.

Since March 2006, it has been mandatory for each household to have a working smoke alarm on every floor of their home. I’ve ensured that my home and family are protected. In my field of work, I’ve attended numerous fire scenes and many times observed homeowners and their families out on the street with literally their shirt on their backs. Sometimes they don’t even have shoes on!

When a fire starts, smoke travels quickly and smoke kills. Smoke travels so fast that time is of the essence and every second counts. Forget about the family photos or your prized possessions, gather everyone in the home and follow your planned escape route (a topic for another time) and GET OUT!

Smoke alarms are your early warning system to alert you of danger and give you every available moment to get out safely!

Do your part. Make sure you have the proper number of smoke alarms in your home. If you already have alarms installed, take a moment and test them to make sure they are working because their job is to save your life. Help them help you.

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