Canada's fire chiefs issue urgent home safety info following deadly weekend
in which six lives were lost

TORONTO, March 29 /CNW/ - Six lives were lost this weekend in four separate residential fires in Montreal and Toronto, leading Canada's fire chiefs to take action by distributing information that guides homeowners and tenants through the right safety choices to stay safe at home.

"Canada's fire chiefs, as well as the men and women dedicated to fighting fires in our cities and communities, are grieving the loss of life this past weekend," says Chief Bruce Burrell, president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC). "Mixed with that grief is frustration that perhaps these tragedies might have been prevented. Were smoke alarms installed in all the correct places? Were the batteries fresh and the alarms within their working life? Had smoke alarms been removed because of a past false alarm?"

While fire marshals in both cities continue to investigate each blaze, the CAFC is urgently reminding all Canadians that working smoke alarms save lives. A graphic that appeared in a recent direct mailing to over one million homes in Canada, produced by the CAFC with support from Kidde Canada, has been reissued along with the following tips:

    
    1) install one smoke alarm per floor and outside sleeping areas
    2) never remove a smoke alarm from the ceiling due to a nuisance alarm
    3) install fresh batteries in all smoke alarms at least once annually
    4) replace any smoke alarms older than 10 years old, and
    5) practice a home fire Escape Plan together with the family
    

"The CAFC, along with partners such as Kidde Canada and Duracell, recognize that public education is at the core of preventing fire deaths," says Chief Burrell. "The materials we produce and the safety programs we create help all Canadians prevent fire tragedy."

Research shows, that in the majority of fatal fires in Canada, smoke alarms are found to have been removed or tampered with. A study by Underwriters Laboratories, the independent, not-for-profit product safety testing and certification organization, has also found that highly flammable materials used in home furnishings today means occupants have less than three minutes to escape a fire, so early warning is essential.

More safety information is available for free download at www.cafc.ca and www.safeathome.ca.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS

For further information: For further information: Patrick Folliott, Kidde Canada Media Relations, pfolliott@realityclick.com, (416) 879-2224

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CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF FIRE CHIEFS

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