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June 11, 2012
Toronto Fire Services Safety Awareness Week 2012
The City of Toronto's Fire Services is hosting its sixth annual Safety Awareness Week starting today. This year's campaign focuses on keeping children safe from preventable and predictable injuries during the summer months.

“Most injuries sustained by children are predictable and avoidable,” said Acting Fire Chief Ron Jenkins. “Our aim is to prepare children and their parents so that they are aware of common injury areas - education is the best tool we have to allow children the opportunity to learn how to keep themselves safe."

During Safety Awareness Week, Toronto Fire Services will be providing families with useful tips through their Risk Watch Injury Prevention program. As part of this program, Fire Services is holding public sessions this week in elementary schools across the city.

The Risk Watch Safety Nights will be held on the following dates:
• Monday, June 11 - Humberwood Downs Junior Middle Academy and Holy Child Catholic School, 850 Humberwood Blvd.
• Tuesday, June 12 - Precious Blood Catholic School, 1035 Pharmacy Ave.
• Wednesday, June 13 - Orde Street Junior Public School, 18 Orde St.
• Thursday, June 14 - Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, 24 Bedford Park Ave.
• Friday, June 15 - Howard Junior Public School, 30 Marmaduke St.

The sessions will start at 5 p.m each evening and will include displays, demonstrations, workshops, and activities indoors and outdoors in the school yard.

The Risk Watch program also includes summer safety tips on how to prevent childhood injuries in the following areas: motor vehicle safety; fire and burn prevention; choking, suffocation and strangulation prevention; poisoning prevention; falls and playground injury prevention; firearms injury prevention; bike and pedestrian safety; and water and ice safety. Safety tips include:

Motor vehicle safety
• Check to make sure young children haven’t outgrown their child car seat or child booster seat, and be sure everyone buckles up every time they are in a motor vehicle.

Fire and burn prevention
• This is a good time to practise your home fire escape plan. Remember to have everyone go to your planned meeting place, so you know everyone got outside safely.
• Remember, it's the law that you have working smoke alarms outside every sleeping area and on every storey of your home - they are needed to give you early warning to escape a home fire.
• Store gasoline and other flammable products outside your home and in an approved safety container, tightly sealed, and out of the sight and reach of children.
• Outdoor cooking fires and barbecues need to be kept a safe distance from the house - at least 4.5 metres (15 feet). Barbecues need to be lit by an adult.
• Always leave the use, handling and discharge of fireworks, including sparklers, to trained professionals.

Choking, suffocation and strangulation prevention
• At family barbecues, remember that hot dogs, steak and marshmallows can be choking hazards. Cut food for young children into small bites. Even in informal outdoor settings, eat only while seated.

Poisoning prevention
• Certain plants, berries and mushrooms can be poisonous. Remind children to check with a trusted adult before eating anything.

Falls and playground injury prevention
• Review safe playground behaviours with your children and make sure playground equipment is in good working order.
• Window guards are available to prevent children from falling. Place window guards only on windows not to be used as a fire exit, unless they are equipped with a quick release mechanism that can be opened easily from the inside. Screens will not prevent children from falling out.

Bike and pedestrian safety
• Check to make sure all family members’ bikes, helmets and other protective equipment fit properly and are in good condition. Replace if necessary.
• Review safe bike and pedestrian behaviours with your children.

Water and ice safety
• Check to make sure personal flotation devices (PFDs) or lifejackets are in good condition and fit family members properly. Review water safety behaviours with your children.
• Supervise children around water at all times.

The Toronto Police Service, Toronto Public Health, Toronto EMS, Toronto Animal Services, and Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation also support Safety Awareness Week.

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.

Media Contact
Toronto Fire Services Media Line
416 -338-0763



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