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February 18, 2011
Practise your fire escape plan on Family Day
Toronto's Fire Chief, William Stewart, encourages families to practise their home fire escape plan as one of their Family Day activities on Monday, February 21.

According to current figures from the Office of the Fire Marshal, 69 people died in residential fires across Ontario in 2010 - a grim reminder that families must know what to do when a smoke alarm sounds in order to escape a fire. Sixteen of those fire deaths occurred in Toronto.

“Most fatal fires occur at night when people are sleeping - that’s why it is important for everyone to know exactly what to do when a smoke alarm sounds,” said Chief Stewart. “In addition to escape plans, all homes must have at least one working smoke alarm on every storey.”

Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:
• Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside sleeping areas - it’s the law. For best protection, install smoke alarms in every bedroom.
• Make a home fire escape plan. Discuss it and practise it with the entire family.
• Show everyone two ways out of each room, if possible.
• Check that all exits are unobstructed and easy to use.
• Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults or anyone else who may need assistance.
• Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for quickly.
• If caught in smoke, get low and crawl under the smoke to the nearest safe exit.
• Call 911 from outside the home, from a cell phone or from neighbour’s phone.
• Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

You may have only seconds to safely escape a home fire. React immediately to the sound of a smoke alarm to ensure that you and your family have time to get out of the burning home.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 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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