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June 14, 2010
Toronto Fire Services' Safety Awareness Week 2010
The City of Toronto's Fire Services will host its fourth annual Safety Awareness Week from June 14 to 19. The campaign will focus on keeping all family members safe from preventable and predictable injuries during the summer months.

As part of its continuing support of the Risk Watch Injury Prevention program in Toronto elementary schools, Toronto Fire Services, along with the dedicated school principals and staff, will host Risk Watch safety nights at these four schools:

- Yorkwoods Public School, 25 Yorkwoods Gate - Monday, June 14
- Winchester Public School, 15 Prospect St. - Tuesday, June 15
- St. Bartholomew Catholic School, 51 Heather Rd.- Wednesday, June 16
- Christ the King Catholic School, 3672 Lakeshore Blvd. W. - Thursday, June 17

Each of the safety nights is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and will include of a variety of displays, demonstrations, workshops, and activities both indoors and outdoors in the school yard (weather permitting), including a fundraising barbecue for the school. Also participating and partnering with Fire Services each evening will be Toronto Police Services, Toronto Public Health, Transportation Services, Toronto EMS, Toronto Animal Services and the Canadian Red Cross.

“The majority of injuries children encounter throughout their childhood are preventable and predictable,” said Fire Chief William Stewart. “With Safety Awareness Week being held at the end of the school year, the timing will be perfect to remind everyone how to stay safe and prevent injuries from occurring in the first place, while enjoying a fun-filled summer.”

Toronto Fire services is urging everyone to remember the following safety and injury prevention tips to keep all family members safe from preventable and predictable injuries during the coming summer months.

Motor Vehicle Safety
▪ Check to make sure young children have not outgrown their child car seat or child booster seat, and be sure that 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. Pretend your primary exit route is blocked by heavy smoke and practise your second way out. Remember to have a working smoke alarm outside every sleeping area and on every storey of your home.
▪ Store gasoline and other flammable products outside your home 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 into small bites for young children. 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/lifejackets are in good condition and fit family
members properly. Review water safety behaviours with your children.
▪ Supervise children at all times when they are in or near water.

The Risk Watch program includes activities promoting safety for each of the eight leading causes of childhood injuries: 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.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about 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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