Firefighters to visit residents door to door as part of safety campaign

Fire Department will hand out information on smoke alarms, fire escape plans and carbon monoxide

If you hear a knock on your door the evening of March 29 between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m., it may be one of the Town’s local firefighters with information about smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detection and home escape plans. The visits are part of the St. Marys Fire Department’s spring public education campaign.

Each home in Ontario is legally required to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. According to the Ontario Fire Marshall, smoke alarms can increase your chances of surviving a fire by up to fifty percent. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month and have their batteries replaced at least once a year. Alarms more than ten years old should be completely replaced.

The same best practices apply for Carbon Monoxide alarms, which are necessary in any home with fuel burning appliances. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, tasteless and odourless gas that can be deadly. CO can be produced by appliances such as furnaces, fireplaces, hot water heaters, stoves, barbeques, portable heaters and generators or vehicles.

“In addition to having working smoke and CO alarms, it’s vital to have an escape plan,” says Fire Prevention Officer Tammy DeGraw, “Family members should know how to get out of every room and where to meet outside. A tree, street light or a neighbour’s home are all good choices for meeting places. ”

As warmer weather approaches, residents are also reminded to practice fire safety when having outdoor fires. A permit is required for any open fires within the Town of St. Marys. Permits cost $25 and can be obtained by calling the St. Marys Fire Department at 519-284-1752.

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