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Fire safety is paramount as Clarington sees 42 per cent jump in fires

Clarington May 12, 2020/- Clarington has seen a 42 per cent increase in fires in 2020 compared to the previous year. The statistics across Ontario are much more sobering; the Province has reported a 65 per cent increase in fire fatalities in 2020 compared to the same period last year. Of the 41 fire-related deaths to date, 17 of those fatalities occurred in March.

Between January and April 2020, Clarington firefighters responded to 49 fires, an increase of 11 fires for the same period in 2019.

"The number of fatalities across the Province is escalating. We need to stay vigilant and make fire safety a priority, especially as we all stay home during the course of this pandemic," said Clarington Fire Chief Gord Weir.

Clarington Emergency and Fire Services would like to remind residents to stay safe and follow the home fire safety tips below.

"It is imperative that all residents take every precaution to keep their families safe," added Chief Weir. "Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month and practise your home fire escape plan with your family. There is no better time than now."

Home Fire Safety Tips

Help prevent kitchen fires:

More fires begin in the kitchen than any other room in the home. In fact, residential cooking is one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths.

  • Keep pot handles turned toward the back of the stove.
  • Avoid loose clothing while cooking. Loose clothing can brush heating elements and easily catch fire.
  • Never leave food cooking unattended on the stove.
  • Never store frequently used items above the stove where you may be burned reaching to get them.

Practise your home fire escape plan:

  • Identify two ways out of every room, if possible. 
  • Ensure all exits are unobstructed and easy to use. 
  • If someone in your home has a disability, develop a home fire escape plan 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, in front of your home, near a tree or a streetlight, where everyone can be accounted for.
  • Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or a neighbour's home.
  • Practise your home fire escape plan throughout the year.
  • Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

Install and test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:

  • Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month by pressing the test button. Change the batteries every year.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms don't last forever. Replace alarms according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

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Media Contact:
Leanne Walker
Communications Specialist
905-623-3379 ext. 2217

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