Calgary Fire Department open houses kick off Fire Prevention Week
The Calgary Fire Department kicked off Fire Prevention Week today with four community open houses from 1 to 4 p.m. at fire stations in each quadrant of the city. This year’s theme, Don’t Wait – Check the Date, reminds Calgarians that smoke alarms expire after 10 years and should be replaced to ensure their safety. Fire Prevention Week is led by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and runs from Oct. 9 to 15.
Today’s community open house events were held at stations in McKenzie Towne, Symons Valley, Saddletown and Signal Hill. Open house visitors were given tours by their local firefighters, who also shared life-saving fire safety tips and invited children of all ages to climb aboard fire trucks and put themselves in the driver’s seat of their own adventure.
“In 2015, one quarter of house fires in Calgary, which resulted in injury, occurred in homes without working smoke alarms,” said Calgary Fire Department Public Information Officer Carol Henke. “Just like groceries, smoke alarms become stale and expire. So, it’s important to replace them every 10 years to ensure the sensors pick up even traces of smoke.”
All households should be aware of their smoke alarms’ manufacture dates to ensure they are working properly. Even newer homes and communities are at risk, as their smoke alarms may be nearing the 10-year expiry date.
To promote Fire Prevention Week, the Calgary Fire Department launched a Smoke Alarm Selfie Contest on The City of Calgary Facebook page. The winning household will get a visit from fire crews, who will test the home’s smoke alarms, help create a home escape plan and leave behind a swag bag. Other events planned for the week include the door-to-door Smoke Alarm Blitz to test and replace smoke alarms in Parkridge Estates on Oct. 12, and naming this year’s Junior Fire Chief on Oct. 13.
As the provincial body overseeing Alberta’s public safety system, the Office of the Fire Commissioner echoes NFPA’s recommendation.
“Alberta’s Office of the Fire Commissioner recommends smoke alarms be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk,” said Spence Sample, Acting Fire Commissioner. “Our office is proud to support Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme Don’t Wait - Check the Date!”
Fire Prevention Week was proclaimed in Canada in 1919 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as well as a major fire that destroyed the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on February 3, 1916. Smoke alarms have been at the centre of Fire Prevention Week for the past three years because they are proven to give residents the best chance of escaping home fires and reducing serious injury.
To learn more about smoke alarms and other Fire Prevention Week events and activities, visit calgary.ca/firepreventionweek.