Fire Prevention Week kicks off today

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Two-year-old Owen Arsenault and his older sister Sophie get to make believe they are firefighters during the launch of Fire Prevention Week outside the North River Community Rink Saturday. The event saw a number of all-ages activities and plenty of safety tips to kick off the week on P.E.I., which is part of a larger national effort. Guardian photo

NORTH RIVER – Charlottetown, North River and Crossroads fire departments officially launched Fire Prevention Week Saturday, which nationally runs from  Sunday, Oct. 7–13.

As part of the Metro Fire Prevention Association, the departments held an all-ages event outside of the North River Community Rink Saturday, which saw residents from the communities learn some useful tips on fire safety.

Firefighters were joined by members of Charlottetown Police Services, RCMP, and Island EMS.

In addition to learning about fire safety, children had the opportunity to use a fire hose and visit with mascot Sparky. There was also an auto extraction demonstration and fire extinguisher training available.

“Fire Prevention Week carries great national and local importance,” said mayor Clifford Lee. “This week should serve as a reminder that we all need to take responsibility for our own safety in our homes. The focus across the country and here, in Charlottetown, needs to be on prevention and preparedness.”

Coun. David MacDonald, chair of the Charlottetown’s protective and emergency services committee, said the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week focuses on fire escape planning and practice.

“Along with the National Fire Protection Association, the local fire departments will be stressing the theme ‘Have Two Ways Out,’ urging residents to be prepared in the event of a fire in their homes,” said MacDonald. “Don’t underestimate the importance of fire escape planning and practice, and the power of fire prevention.”

City fire chief Randy MacDonald said fire is unpredictable and moves faster than most people realize.

“Having a tried and true escape plan with two ways out is essential to ensuring your family’s safety should fire break out in your home,” he said. “You would have very little time to react if you woke up to a fire in your home. If you know and practice an escape plan, you can be more prepared to deal with a fire emergency.”

 

The following tips are recommended for creating an escape plan:

- Make a map of your home and mark a door and window in every room that can be used as an escape;

- Choose a meeting place outside, in front of your home, where members of your household will meet in an emergency, and mark this on your map as part of your escape plan;

- Write emergency telephone numbers on your escape plan;

- Test your smoke alarms and practice the escape plan with all household members;

- Keep the escape plan visible by posting it on your fridge and practicing it with all household members twice a year.

To learn more about having two ways out or other fire prevention strategies, visit www.firepreventionweek.org

Organizations: Metro Fire Prevention Association, Charlottetown Police Services, RCMP National Fire Protection Association

Geographic location: Charlottetown, NORTH RIVER

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