Vulnerable residents to receive free smoke alarms

Markham Fire and Emergency Services has received 360 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for vulnerable and at-risk residents through Project Zero.

As part of the public education campaign, which is designed to improve home safety and bring fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths down to zero, the units will end up in senior homes and social service agencies like the York Region Children’s Aid Society, which will then distribute them to vulnerable and at-risk residents here.

When properly installed and maintained, the combination alarms provide an early warning to safely escape from a house fire or carbon monoxide exposure. Carbon monoxide is an invisible toxic, odourless gas that’s produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, heating oil or wood don’t burn completely in fuel-burning appliances and devices like furnaces, gas or wood fireplaces and hot water heaters.

Ontario homeowners are required to install a working carbon monoxide alarm adjacent to each sleeping area of the home if there’s a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. “Similarly, if you live in a condo or apartment building with a service room or a garage, these alarms must be installed in the room and adjacent to each sleeping area above, below and beside the service room and/or garage,” says Markham Deputy Fire Chief Adam Grant.

Enbridge Gas has invested $275,000 in Project Zero, which will provide more than 9,100 alarms to fire departments in 40 municipalities across Ontario. Over the past 11 years, the program has provided more than 44,356 alarms across the province.

“Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ for a reason and we have proof that prevention saves lives,” says Steve McGivery, Director, GTA East Operations, Enbridge Gas. “We know that the best way to avoid carbon monoxide exposure is to eliminate it at the source by properly maintaining fuel-burning equipment and that the alarms are a critical second line of defense to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Picture from left: Chris Nearing, Deputy Fire Chief, Markham Fire and Emergency Services; Jackie Dyson, Public Education Officer, Markham Fire and Emergency Services; Harry Prentice, Fire Protection Adviser, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management; Karen Rae, Ward 4 Councillor, City of Markham; Steve McGivery, Director, GTA East Operations, Enbridge Gas Inc.; Mark Wilson, Senior Advisor, Municipal Affairs, Enbridge Gas Inc.; Adam Grant, Deputy Fire Chief, Markham Fire and Emergency Services; Alex Freeman, Public Education Officer, Markham Fire and Emergency Services. Photo courtesy of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.


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