Working smoke alarms could have saved the lives of young family

    TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - Five people, including three young children died
in a house fire this past weekend in Hamilton, Ontario. It has been confirmed
by Office of the Fire Marshal investigators that there were no smoke alarms
found in the home.
    "I'm wondering how many more deaths have to needlessly occur before
people get the message," said Patrick Burke, Fire Marshal of Ontario. "This
young family would probably still be alive today if there had been working
smoke alarms in the home."
    So far this year, 32 people have died in fires in Ontario. In February,
two children and their father perished in a fire in Toronto. A week later, a
man in a wheelchair was unable to escape a fire in his home. Although both
investigations are ongoing, the Office of the Fire Marshal is urging everyone
to test their smoke alarms.
    In order to survive a fire, you need to be provided with an early warning
and know what to do when the smoke alarms sound. It's the law to have working
smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. For
added protection, it is recommended to also install smoke alarms inside all
    "Smoke alarms can give you and your family the precious time needed to
safely get out," said Burke. "A few minutes spent testing your smoke alarms
and practising a home fire escape plan could make the difference between life
and death."
    Tampering with, or removing the batteries from your smoke alarms is
against the law. Failure to comply with the Fire Code smoke alarm requirements
can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000.

For further information:

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

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