Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape! That’s the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week and underscores the critical role firefighters play in community safety.
“In a fire, there are no second chances,” says Markham Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) Chief Dave Decker. “Our firefighters are everyday superheroes – putting their lives on the line to bravely serve our community to ensure everyone’s safety.”
MFES is urging local families and businesses to establish and practise their fire escape plans as part of Fire Prevention Week, which runs Oct. 6 to 12. “This week, we want to let the community know that anyone can be a superhero, for anyone who takes small but important actions to keep themselves and those around them safe from fire is a true hero in our eyes,” Decker says.
The Ministry of the Solicitor General’s steps for home fire escape planning include identifying anyone who requires assistance to get out of the home safely, such as small children and older adults. Make sure you have working smoking alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Identify all possible exits (windows and doors) and make sure they work. Know two ways out of all areas if possible.
Make sure everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds: assign someone to help those who need assistance, identify a safe meeting place outside and call the fire department from a neighbour’s home or cell phone. Make sure everyone takes part in practising your fire escape plan and make changes to your plan if necessary.
MFES is visiting select local businesses this week to educate staff and to encourage them to plan and practise their home escape plan for a chance to win and be titled a superhero. Staff will be asked to submit a copy of their home escape plan for a chance to win a superhero t-shirt, bragging rights, souvenir photo opportunity and the chance to tour of a MFES firetruck.
Photo: Markham Fire and Emergency Services visited Firehouse Subs and its staff of ‘superheroes’ on Oct. 9 as part of Fire Prevention Week. It visits Acuity Brands Lighting Canada Inc. on Oct. 10 and Enbridge on Oct. 11.