Smoke alarms vital to surviving a fire

    TORONTO, Dec. 24 /CNW/ - Following home fires in Toronto and North Bay
over the past weekend, Ontario Fire Marshal Pat Burke once again is urging all
Ontarians to install and ensure their smoke alarms work.
    "It is absolutely vital that everyone have working smoke alarms in their
homes," says Burke. "Not only do smoke alarms save lives by providing
occupants with the early warning required to escape a fire, but they are the
    In Saturday's tragic fatal fire in Toronto, the smoke alarm on the main
floor of the home had been disconnected. The cause of this fire is still under
    Similarly, there were no working smoke alarms in a North Bay apartment
fire on Sunday, which started after a candle was left unattended. The occupant
had to jump from the second floor to escape, and is currently in hospital. The
North Bay Fire Department has charged the occupant for failing to maintain
working smoke alarms.
    "I am asking fire departments across the province to take a more
aggressive approach to smoke alarms," continues Burke. "The public needs to
realise that if they are found in violation of the smoke alarms law, they will
be charged."
    It's the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and
outside all sleeping areas. Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm
requirements can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $100,000.
    Since November 1, 2007, 21 people have died in fires across the province.
People are reminded that if they are using candles during the holidays, snuff
them out before leaving the room or going to bed. Lit candles should always be
placed in sturdy candleholders away from anything that can burn and out of the
reach of children and pets so they can't be knocked over.

For further information:

For further information: Chris Slosser, Office of the Fire Marshal:
(416) 325-3120; Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal: (416) 325-3178

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