2022 marks the 100th Anniversary of Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week is held annually by fire departments across North America. Fire Prevention Day 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. In 1922, Fire Prevention Day expanded to Fire Prevention Week.
The theme of Fire Prevention Week this year is Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape.
A hundred years ago, typical home contents and construction materials burned slower than the plastics, synthetics and lightweight products that are currently found in homes. Homes are now burning faster than ever, so today, you have less than two minutes to get out of the house from the time your smoke alarms sounds.
“Working smoke alarms and a home escape plan are the two most important factors when it comes to keeping you and your family safe in the event of a fire,” says Jeff Budai, Community Safety Coordinator with the Calgary Fire Department. “With less than two minutes to get out of your home, there is no time to think; you must take action. We want all Calgarians to stay safe by preparing an escape plan and practicing it with all members of their family.”
Unfortunately, the Calgary Fire Department has seen an increase in fires in 2022; 306 residential fires occurred from January 1 to August 31 this year, up from 294 residential fires during the same time last year, underscoring the need to develop a home escape plan. The Calgary Fire Department offers the following tips:
- Your home escape plan should include two ways out of each sleeping area and an assigned meeting place outside, a safe distance from your home.
- Ensure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working and everyone recognizes the sounds and knows how to get out.
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year and share your plan with overnight guests.
Ideally, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside of sleeping areas and on each level of your home, including basements.
Family-friendly open houses
To help Calgarians learn more about fire prevention and how to create escape plans, the Calgary Fire Department is hosting four open houses across the city on October 9, from 1 – 4 p.m. Calgarians of all ages are invited to drop by to talk to the firefighters, tour the trucks and enter to win some great prizes.
The location of the open houses are as follows:
- SE Calgary - Station 30, 6 McKenzie Towne Gate S.E.
- SW Calgary - Station 37, 2511 Eversyde Avenue S.W.
- NE Calgary - Station 31, 11955 Country Village Link N.E.
- NW Calgary - Station 42, 275 Tuscany Way N.W.
The Calgary Fire Department will also be at the Genesis Centre on October 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., to share fire prevention information. Calgarians are encouraged to drop by to talk to the firefighters about preparing their own home escape plans.
Smoke alarm blitz in South Hill
Every year during Fire Prevention Week, the Calgary Fire Department visits a community with smoke alarms in hand, offering to install new smoke alarms for free. This year, they will be in the South Hill Mobile Home Park the evening of October 13 to test, and where necessary, install or provide smoke alarms for residents of that community. The Calgary Fire Department will be joined by ATCO, who will be offering carbon monoxide alarms to the residents.
For more information about fire prevention and Fire Prevention Week activities, please visit calgary.ca/firepreventionweek.