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Firefighters remind residents to have working smoke alarms, escape plan

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is urging the public to make sure they have working smoke alarms.
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THUNDER BAY -- Thunder Bay Fire Rescue is urging the public to make sure they have working smoke alarms.

In the wake of a recent fatal fire in Oshawa, Ontario, fire officials are reminding the public that having working smoke alarms on every level of their home and outside all sleeping areas could save lives.

“Fires move so fast that you may have less than 60 seconds to safely escape a fire. Early warning is crucial to survival. Only working smoke alarms give you that early warning,” said Thunder Bay Fire Rescue deputy chief Greg Hankkio.

Hankkio added practicing a home fire escape plan could also increase the chances of survival.

“Just as important as having working smoke alarms is making sure everyone in your home knows exactly what to do to escape before a fire occurs,” he added.

“Practice a home fire escape plan with everyone in your home.”

Early detection and warning of fire is critical.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue also recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom.

Simple smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tips:
· Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas. For added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms.

· Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage. For added protection, install a carbon monoxide alarm on every storey of your home according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

· Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button. Change the batteries every year.

· Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms wear out over time. Replace alarms according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:

· Everyone should know two ways out of each room, if possible.

· All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use.

· Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults and anyone who needs assistance to escape.

· Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.

· Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour’s home.

· Practice your home fire escape plan.

· Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.