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December 12, 2011
Residential sprinklers and smoke alarms avert tragedy
Residential sprinklers and smoke alarms helped avert a potential tragedy when a cooking-oil fire erupted in a Toronto apartment at 1407 Dupont St. on December 7. A 90-year-old woman was taken to hospital with minor burns on her face, but the outcome could have been much worse if not for the smoke alarms and the water sprinkler system.

Toronto Fire Services' review of the incident indicates that the fire would have consumed the apartment if the sprinkler system had not been in place.

Residential sprinklers are a recognized safety measure that saves lives and property. They are an affordable, dependable and unique way to protect homes from fire, save lives and make firefighting less hazardous.

Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart, a strong advocate of the installation of residential sprinklers in all new home construction, also reminds Torontonians to never leave cooking unattended.

The law in Ontario requires that all homes have working smoke alarms and that people follow the advice on installation as expressed by Chief Stewart: “Install and maintain a working smoke alarm on every level of your home to ensure that your family is equipped with the best defence against the devastating effects of fire.”

The National Fire Protection Association says about 65 per cent of all fire-based fatalities occur in homes without smoke alarms. Where deaths occurred in homes with smoke alarms, either the alarms were improperly located, or the victim was impaired physically or by alcohol, or the victim's clothing was set alight.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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