This year’s Fire Prevention Week took place from October 6 to 12 and was themed around “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape.” The week was all about public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. This was also a time to recognize that everyday actions can have heroic results.
Markham Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) visited local businesses (with firetrucks in tow) to educate staff on the importance of having smoke alarms and to encouraged them to develop and practice home fire escape plans. The Superhero tour stops included Firehouse Subs, Acuity Brands Lighting Canada Inc. and Enbridge. Employees who created and practiced a home escape plan were entered into a draw to win a superhero t-shirt and were deemed as superheroes.
“In a fire, there are no second chances,” says Markham Fire Chief Dave Decker. “Our firefighters are everyday superheroes — putting their lives on the line to bravely serve our community to ensure everyone’s safety. We want to let the community know that anyone can be a superhero — for anyone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire is a true hero in our eyes.”
From the time a smoke alarm sounds, you might only have as little as one or two minutes to escape, which is why having a home fire escape plan is critical.
On the heels of Fire Prevention Week, it’s important for homeowners to be aware of fire safety. It’s critically important to ensure working smoke alarms are installed on every storey of your home and outside of all sleeping areas.
Fire escape plans are also essential, and it doesn’t take long to create one. Follow these simple steps to create your own plan: draw a floor plan of your home, note all possible emergency exits, show two ways out of every room (if possible), choose a meeting place outside, and practice your escape. Remember to get outside before calling the fire department about any fire emergency.