Evacuation planning, focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week

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Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and throughout Canada are encouraged during Fire Prevention Week, to "Have 2 Ways Out" as part of their home evacuation plan.

Fire and Emergency Services Newfoundland and Labrador (FES-NL) is once again teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to mark Fire Prevention Week this week. Community fire departments have arranged events to celebrate this year’s theme.

Kevin O’Brien, minister of municipal affairs and minister responsible for fire and emergency services, said the provincial government continues to advance fire and life safety measures throughout the province.

“With this year’s proclamation of the new Fire Protection Services Act, smoke alarms are now required on every level and in each sleeping area of all homes and cabins,” O’Brien said. “Smoke alarms save lives and provide an early warning to exit in an emergency. In addition, having two identified emergency routes from your home further improves the chances of a safe exit from a potentially harmful situation.”

O’Brien said he would also like to remind firefighters of the importance of ensuring their own safety and prevention efforts and encourage their attendance at a Fire and Emergency Services Training School,  Oct. 20 to 26 in Gander.

“Firefighters and municipal officials can access numerous training courses to further their knowledge and improve their chances of survival when engaged in such an honourable, but dangerous work,”  the minister said.

Fire and Emergency Services NL offers the following tips to enhance safety at home year-round:

• Check smoke alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order. Smoke alarms are mandatory in Newfoundland and Labrador and are required on all levels of a home, cottage or cabin and in each sleeping area;

• Keep all highly flammable items such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment;

• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period, turn off the stove;

• If you smoke, smoke outside and, wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays;

• Ensure your family knows the best ways to get out of the home should a fire occur and discuss a family meeting spot for when you have safely exited the home. Working smoke alarms are also an integral component of any family’s fire escape plan.

 Since 1922, fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

Residents are encouraged to visit www.firepreventionweek.org or www.gov.nl.ca/fes to get more information on fire prevention and fire safety.

Organizations: National Fire Protection Association, Emergency Services Newfoundland and Labrador, FES-NL Fire Protection Services Fire and Emergency Services Training School Emergency Services NL

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Gander

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