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Help make season most fire-safe ever

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The Fort Frances Fire Rescue Service along with the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council and hundreds of fire departments across Ontario, this week launched the third annual campaign to help prevent fire and carbon monoxide tragedies over the holidays.

This year, at the heart of the program, lyrics have been developed for a new twist on an old carol, the “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety.”

The 12 verses, or “Lyrics to Live By,” provide a fun way to reinforce simple holiday fire safety tips ranging from testing and replacing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to staying in the kitchen while cooking and practicing a home escape plan.

The “12 Days of Holiday Safety” lyrics can be downloaded at www.safeathome.ca/12days.

Families can share these important tips with their friends by following SafeatHome on Twitter (@safeathometips) or liking the Facebook page at facebook.com/safeathome.ca.

“Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays lead to distraction and fire tragedy. Include fire safety in your plans and make it a time to enjoy with family and friends,” said Ted Wieclawek, Ontario Fire Marshal and Chair of the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.

“I urge everyone to learn and practise this campaign’s 12 helpful tips and to talk about them with guests who may be staying in your home over the holidays,” he added. “By raising awareness about fire safety where you live, you can support my wish for the most fire-safe December on record for Ontarians.”

The remarks are echoed by Fort Frances Fire Chief, Frank Sheppard.

“While fire can happen anytime of the year, December is one of our busiest times of year for fire calls—the holidays can be distracting, and all it takes is for a pot to be left on the stove unattended, a candle left burning, or a smoke alarm not working and a family’s holiday celebrations can turn tragic,” he said.

Last year’s program succeeded in minimizing the number of fire fatalities. Seven fatalities in Ontario is the lowest number to ever be recorded in December in both 2011 and 2012. 

Carol Heller, a home safety expert with Kidde Canada, a partner to the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council said, “The holiday season is a peak time for replacing electronics and appliances, but many people overlook that smoke and CO alarms need replaced too.

“Protect your family and guests by replacing smoke alarms more than 10 years old and CO alarms more than seven to 10 years old, depending on the brand,” she added.

“The same replacement rules apply whether the alarms are battery-powered or hardwired,” added Heller.

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