(Photo by Miranda Chant, BlackburnNews.com)

New ‘After The Fire’ Program For Perth East And West Perth

Perth East and West Perth will implement a new “After The Fire” program.

Fire Chief Bill Hunter says they are dedicated to public safety, and feel the program is necessary with the recent rise in the number of fire fatalities in Ontario.

Hunter says if there is a fire, fire service staff will go door-to-door in the area where it happened, ensuring fire safety.

That means they will check to see if the homes have the required smoke and CO alarms, and to pass along key fire safety messages.

“I’m sure people would rather meet us and find out if their smoke alarms are working the easy way – when there isn’t a fire happening – than find out the hard way,” says Hunter. “When we knock on your door, we’re there because we care about your safety and the safety of those in your home. That’s what matters to us the most.”

When no one is home, fire staff will leave a door hanger with safety reminders and an invitation to contact the fire department.

“A fire in your neighbourhood is proof that a fire can happen to anyone. It is crucial that every home have life-saving measures such as working smoke alarms and home escape plans. Early detection and a planned escape are key to surviving a fire,” says Hunter, adding that the program can be a very positive experience for everyone involved. “We’ll show up in the fire trucks and connect with residents. Kids will get to see the trucks and talk to our staff. Residents can ask questions and get answers.”

Hunter reminds residents to take some easy steps:

• Install and maintain working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas

• Landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the law and tenants must notify their landlord if any smoke or CO alarm is not working

• It is against the law to disable an alarm (ie removing the batteries or tampering with the alarm in any way).

• Test the smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries when it’s time to change the clock for daylight savings

• Create and practice a home escape plan; designate a meeting place outside the home

• If your home has a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage, have a working carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas