Pack fire safety into holiday weekend plans



    
    Ensure seasonal dwellings are fire safe & leave fireworks to the
    professionals
    

    TORONTO, May 15 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    To minimize the risk of fire and burn injuries, the Ontario Fire Marshal
is urging Ontarians to include fire safety into their holiday weekend plans.

    QUOTES

    "It's important for cottages, cabins and seasonal homes to be fire safe,"
said Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke. "Consider purchasing new smoke alarms and
batteries in case they need replacing. Test carbon monoxide alarms to ensure
they are operating properly, particularly if there is a fuel-burning appliance
in the dwelling. Heating appliances should be checked by a qualified
technician (for faulty wiring) and chimneys for animal nests before they are
used."
    "Fireworks are extremely dangerous and for this reason, the fire service
does not recommend family fireworks or informal cottage displays. This
weekend, leave fireworks to the professionals. Plan to attend public fireworks
displays hosted by your municipality or other responsible organization,"
continued Burke.

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.
        It's the law for all Ontario homes, cottages, cabins and seasonal
        homes to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all
        sleeping areas.
    -   Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your
        cottage's emergency sign number, in case of emergency.
    -   Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of
        children.
    -   If you still choose to have a family fireworks or an informal
        neighbourhood display, check with your local fire department about
        regulations regarding fireworks.
    

    LEARN MORE

    To get more information about fireworks and cottage safety, visit
www.ofm.gov.on.ca and download the Fireworks Safety Tips fact sheet and the
Cottage Fire Safety Tips fact sheet.

    
                            Fireworks Safety Tips
                     From the Office of the Fire Marshal

    -   To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service does
        not recommend family fireworks or informal neighbourhood displays.

    -   The fire service recommends attending public fireworks displays
        hosted by your municipality or other responsible organization.

    -   If you still choose to have a family fireworks or an informal
        neighbourhood display, check with your local fire department about
        regulations regarding fireworks. Here are some important safety tips
        to be followed:

        -  Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are
           aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should
           handle and discharge fireworks.

        -  Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks
           packaging.

        -  Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when
           discharging fireworks.

        -  Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like
           buildings, trees and dry grass.

        -  Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where
           fireworks are discharged.

        -  Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the
           ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light dud
           fireworks. For dud fireworks, it is best to wait 30 minutes and
           soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal
           container.

        -  Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety
           hazard.

        -  Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers burn extremely hot
           and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe
           burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after
           burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.

        -  If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to
           five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary.

        -  The Ontario fire service is strongly discouraging the public from
           purchasing Flying Lanterns, which resemble small, paper, hot air
           balloons, fuelled by an ignited wax candle. This product has the
           potential to land on trees, building rooftops or other property
           while still ignited and can result in a severe fire. The Office of
           the Fire Marshal believes this product poses a public fire safety
           hazard and strongly urges the public to refrain from purchasing
           and using this product.


                           Cottage Fire Safety Tips
                     From the Office of the Fire Marshal

    -   To minimize the risk of fire and burn injury, the fire service
        recommends the following cottage fire safety tips:

        -  Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping
           areas. It's the law for all Ontario homes, cottages, cabins and
           seasonal homes to have working smoke alarms on every storey and
           outside all sleeping areas.

        -  Test smoke alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the
           cottage. Pack a new smoke alarm and extra smoke alarm batteries in
           case they need replacement.

        -  Install and ensure carbon monoxide alarms in your cottage if it
           has a fuel-burning appliance.

        -  Develop and practice a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone
           knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.

        -  Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your
           cottage's emergency sign number, in case of emergency.

        -  Clean barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on lit barbecues
           and ensure all combustibles, as well as children and pets are kept
           well away from them. Fires can happen when barbecues are left
           unattended.

        -  Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of
           children.

        -  Remember to bring a flashlight with extra batteries.

        -  Check heating appliances and chimneys before using them.

        -  Check with your local fire department, municipality, or Ministry
           of Natural Resources to determine whether open air burning is
           permitted before having a campfire or burning brush. If open
           burning is allowed, fires should be built on bare soil or on
           exposed rock. Remove leaves and twigs from around the fire to keep
           it from spreading. Always keep a bucket of water, sand, or even a
           shovel close by and supervise the fire at all times.

        -  If you must smoke, do so outside. Keep a large can with water
           nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded. If you drink,
           do so responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption
           are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious
           injuries.

        -  Burn candles in sturdy candleholders that will not tip and are
           covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!

             Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, Copyright 2009
    





For further information:

For further information: Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal,
(416) 325-3155; Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3178

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