Fire Prevention Week focuses on smoke detectors

This year’s theme is ‘Don’t Wait - Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years’

 

It’s a message that many often hear check your smoke detector monthly and change the batteries in the device annually. However, this year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 9th-15th is ‘Don’t Wait Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years’.

It is a reminder that may perhaps be lesser known, but still just as important.

According to Fire Prevention Canada, hundreds of people die in residential fires in Canada every year.

In many fires that have been extinguished in their early stages, people have been found dead of smoke inhalation without having suffered burns.

“It has been conservatively estimated that many of these lives could have been saved by the installation of properly functioning smoke alarms. Although these devices are no substitute for carefully planned fire prevention measures, they are invaluable to providing an early warning when fire strikes,” officials say.

Smoke is the cause of the majority of fire-related deaths, according to the Fire Prevention Canada site.

Hot flames are actually low on the list of killers during a fire.

“A smouldering fire may go undetected for hours, especially while people are asleep. In addition to deadly carbon monoxide, smoke carries poisons such as hydrogen cyanide and irritants such as formaldehyde and acetic acid. Added to this lethal potion are other toxic substances that come from the burning of synthetic materials commonly found in the home, especially those emitted from plastics and foams. Oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and ammonia are just a few examples. These agents can have a lethal effect before a sleeper is even disturbed; especially when one considers that the fire itself consumes life-sustaining oxygen.”

Normally, air is made-up of about 21% oxygen. When it falls below the 17% level, thinking and coordination become difficult. Below 16%, a person’s behaviour turns irrational, hindering escape efforts.

Breathing becomes impossible when oxygen levels fall below 6%.

Super-heated air and gases rise quickly and produce what is known as a ‘hot’ fire.

Temperatures above 370C are common in a ‘hot’ fire. At such high temperatures, unconsciousness and death can occur within minutes. Bedrooms located in the upper floors of residences are frequently subjected to these conditions in the advanced stages of a fire.

There are of course other aspects to fire safety, including proper use of lighters and matches.

Also according to Fire Prevention Canada, every year hundreds of fires are started by children playing with lighters or matches.

Many of these fires are caused by children under the age of five. Children as young as 18 months have caused fires by operating lighters. Disposable lighters sold by retailers must be child-resistant, but remember, child-resistant does not mean childproof. Store lighters out of sight and out of the reach of children and do not remove the child safety devices from the lighter. Remember to teach children that lighters and matches are not toys.

Meanwhile, City officials say that Fire Prevention Week is an important yearly reminder, however, they work hard each month to get fire safety messages across to the community.

For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.firepreventionweek.org.

 

Just Posted

Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Lacombe Generals to host 2019 Allan Cup

The Allan Cup was last hosted in Alberta in 2013 in Red Deer

Rogers Hometown Hockey lands in Lacombe Feb. 3rd and 4th

The weekend will feature broadcast hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, meet-and-greets with NHL alumni and activities for the whole family

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

WATCH: Innisfail’s Berkley the bear celebrates first birthday

Discovery Wildlife Park’s newest Kodiak is excited for life this winter

UPDATE/WATCH: Jason Klaus and Josh Frank guilty in triple murder

Crown argues for 75 years to life in prison, sentencing on Jan. 22nd

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Most Read