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February 12, 2010
Practice home fire escape planning on Family Day
Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart is reminding families to practice their home fire escape plans as a part of Family Day on February 15.

In 2009, 101 people died in fires across Ontario - a stark reminder that everyone in your household must know exactly what to do if a fire occurs. Last year in Toronto alone there were 17 fire deaths.

“Most fatal fires occur at night when everyone is asleep, so that is why it is so important for everyone to know what to do when the smoke alarms sound,” said Chief Stewart. “In addition to escape plans, all homes should have at least one working smoke alarm on every storey.”

Simple steps to include in planning for home fire escape:
• Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside sleeping areas (required by law). For best protection, install smoke alarms in every bedroom.
• Prepare a home fire escape plan. Discuss it and practice 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.
• If caught in smoke, get low to the floor and go under the smoke to the nearest safe exit.
• Call the fire department from outside the home - from a cell phone or from a neighbour’s home.
• Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

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

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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