Smoke alarms vital to surviving a fire

    TORONTO, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - Following Monday's house fire on the Oneida
First Nation near London, ON, in which two people died and a third was
injured, Ontario Deputy Fire Marshal Doug Crawford is urging all Ontarians to
install working smoke alarms in their homes.
    "This is another tragedy that did not have to happen," said Crawford. "It
is absolutely vital that everyone have working smoke alarms in their homes.
Smoke alarms can save lives by providing occupants with the early warning
required to escape a fire."
    While the cause of Monday's fatal fire is still under investigation,
investigators are confident there were no working smoke alarms in the home. A
woman confined to a wheelchair and her 18-year-old daughter died in the fire,
while a 17-year-old daughter was able to escape the blaze. The father remains
in hospital.
    "Fires can happen at anytime, anywhere and people need to protect their
families and homes," continued Crawford. "Please ensure that your smoke alarms
are working. They can provide the precious seconds people need to get out
    It's the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and
outside all sleeping areas of your home. 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. Fire departments across the province are being urged to take a more
aggressive approach to enforcing the smoke alarm requirements.
    Already in January 2008, 13 people have died in fires across Ontario as
compared to six fire fatalities in January 2007.

For further information:

For further information: Gina Pontikas, Office of the Fire Marshal:
(416) 325-3138; Bev Gilbert, Office of the Fire Marshal: (416) 325-3178

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