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Fire Launches Smoke Alarm Canvass

May 29, 2008 - Thunder Bay Fire & Rescue Service launched the 4th Annual city-wide Smoke Alarm Canvass today. City firefighters are stepping out to communicate directly with Thunder Bay residents as part of Fire & Rescue's biggest ever effort to make sure residents have working smoke alarms in the right places.

The campaign will run through September and will see crews visit and inspect 3,788 local homes to make sure that residents are safe in the event of a fire. The Fire Service is making a bigger splash than ever before in an effort to improve the alarming statistics that last year's canvass revealed. Of the homes surveyed in 2007, 41% were at risk in the event of a fire and in violation of the law.

"If you don't have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas, put your coat on, go out and buy some and install them as soon as you get home," said Chief Hay. "If ever there was a time to take immediate action for the safety of your family, this is it."

If the Fire & Rescue Service is called to your house for an incident and your home does not comply with smoke alarm regulations you will be fined $235 per missing or non-functioning smoke alarm. During the Canvass, or anytime the Fire Service is invited in to inspect a home, firefighters will not be issuing tickets to residents, but will show them how to bring their home up to Code and optimize safety.

"The Smoke Alarm Canvass is a great way to make sure your home is safe, before it is too late," said Brian Berringer, Director Fire Prevention. "We're not doing this to impose on people; we want our residents to be protected and don't want to have to issue tickets if we do get called out for a fire."

So far this year, there have been 44 fatalities due to fires in Ontario, many of which could have been prevented with working smoke alarms. If a Firefighter visits your home during the Smoke Alarm Canvass, invite them in; their visit could save your life or a family member. 

Thunder Bay Fire & Rescue is holding a Fire Safety Open House on Saturday, May 31 from 10 am - 4:30 pm at the North Central Fire Station (60 South Water St) to provide residents and kids an opportunity to come down and learn from the pros how to make their homes fire-safe before the Canvass begins. A billboard campaign featuring local firefighters Mark Tuuttila and Jeff LeDuc of Vickers Station C Platoon will also be launched in June to promote the Canvass.

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Contact: John Hay, Chief - Fire & Rescue Service, 625-2101