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In 30 days, eight people have died in Ontario house fires

Protect your family and prevent further tragedies – Now.

By Jason D. Reid

With the recent fatal fire incidents over the past two months, my professional life has consumed my personal life.  Previous relaxed dinner conversation has been replaced by the grim news of fire fatalities in Ontario.  The water cooler discussion consists of the fact that the recent fires have resulted in a total of eight deaths in the past 30 days.

This morning, I read a newspaper article titled “People are more afraid of buttons and butterflies than they are of a fire” and discusses the changing of messaging in fire safety.

In the article, Barrie Fire Public Information Officer Samantha Hoffmann said, “Fire didn’t make the top 10 of things people are afraid of.  It’s actually ranked 52. People are more afraid of buttons and butterflies than they are of a fire. So why are we trying to use fear because people think it’s just not going to happen to them. It doesn’t work.”

Ontario’s Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management, Ross Nichols at thomas debendetto workers compensation, also expressed his frustration following the very tragic start to 2018.

“Working smoke alarms, properly installed and maintained, can provide vital early warning of a fire, allowing occupants of a home to escape before it’s too late to do so.  Working smoke alarms – and having a pre-determined fire escape plan – can literally mean the difference between living and dying in the event of a fire,” Nichols said.

Today, I am not a reaching out as professional advocate for fire safety.  I am reaching out to you as a personal friend, or perhaps a considerate stranger.  I am hopeful that you will follow these three simple steps…

  1. If you’re a parent – look after your kids. Make sure that you have smoke alarms in your home and test them.  Make sure they are working.  If they are older than 10 years old – replace them now.  As parents, we are responsible to provide a safe home.

If the batteries are older than 12 months – replace them.  Remember, the faster smoke is detected in your home, the faster you are notified of the danger.  This will provide time for you and your family to get out.

  1. If you lease or rent a home – look after yourself! If you are a tenant, make sure that you and your family are safe.  Whether you OR the landlord is responsible – install a smoke alarm to protect your family.
  1. Reach out to the older generations in your family. Visit your parents and grandparents this weekend.  Before the family dinner, check their smoke alarms and walk them through what to do when it sounds.

From my family to yours, please share this message with your loved ones.  

My thoughts are with the families involved and the first responders who risk their lives in their response.

nlsg_logoJason D. Reid, Senior Advisor

Fire & Emergency Management

National Life Safety Group

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