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Woodstock Fire Department Stresses The Use Of Smoke Alarms

A tragic fire in Oshawa that killed four people including 2 children has prompted a safety message from the Woodstock Fire Department.

WOODSTOCK - The Woodstock Fire Department is reminding everyone to make sure you have working smoke alarms at your house and practice a fire escape plan with your family. 

Fire prevention coordinator Lisa Woods says the calls comes after a fatal fire this week in Oshawa that killed four people including 2 children. 

"Early detection is the only way to know that you have a fire in your home and it gives you the time to escape, so we want to make sure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working and that there is one on every level and that they are 10 years or younger." 

Acting Fire Chief Jeff Slager says it has not yet been determined if there were working smoke alarms in the fatal fire in Oshawa.

"Fire moves so fast that you may have less than 60 seconds to safely escape a fire, so early warning is crucial to survival. Only working smoke alarms give you that early warning."

Slager says having a plan in place is crucial. 

"It is up to you to make sure these types of tragedies do not happen in Woodstock." 

Simple smoke and carbon monoxide alarm tips:

- Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home. For added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom according to manufacturer’s recommendations. 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.

- If someone in your home has a disability, develop a home fire escape plan with your household that takes into account their unique needs. 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.

For people who live in apartment buildings and need assistance to escape:

- Make sure you tell the superintendent or landlord if you need assistance.

- Make sure your name is added to the persons who require assistance list in the fire safety plan, so the fire department knows which apartment you are in.

- Know the emergency procedures outlined in the building’s fire safety plan.

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