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September 30, 2010
Fire Prevention Week 2010: ‘Smoke alarms: a sound you can live with’
Fire Prevention Week - this year from October 3 to 9 - is North America’s longest running public health and safety campaign on record. It has been 91 years since Canada first joined with the United States to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, which almost destroyed the entire city. It was thought that a joint effort by Canada and the U.S. would give greater energy to the cause of educating the public on how to stay safe from the devastation of fire - and Fire Prevention Week was established.

Over the years, many themes have been adopted to emphasize different safety messages. This year, the theme of the necessity of having working smoke alarms in the home has led to the campaign message: “Smoke Alarms: a sound you can live with.”

In 2009, 17 people died in Toronto fires; in 2010 there have been 13 fire deaths to date. Fire safety education begins in the home.

Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart reminds the public about the devastating effects that fire can have on your home, your family and your community. "The tragedy of fire is very far reaching," he said. "Educate yourself to stay safe in your home - install working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. While they don’t prevent fires from happening, smoke alarms do provide the early warning you need to get your family safely out of a fire."

Toronto Fire Services will host events across the city to encourage Toronto residents to consider the importance of fire safety in the home, school and workplace.

Fire Prevention Week will begin with a kickoff event on Friday, October 1 at the Eglinton Town Centre Cineplex Odeon Theatre. Grade 1 students from the host school, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School, will perform the National Fire Protection Association's "Smoke Alarm" fire safety song. Approximately 700 students will then be treated to a private viewing of "Firehouse Dog" compliments of Cineplex Odeon Theatres, followed by a pizza lunch.

During Fire Prevention Week, students at the host school will also be participating in a fire safety poster contest, with posters later to be displayed for senior residents at Providence Healthcare facility. Prizes will be awarded for the best primary, junior and intermediate grade posters. In addition, one student per class will win a movie pass.

On Sunday, October 3, Toronto Fire Services will conduct its first 2010 Fire Prevention Week open house event at the Toronto Fire and EMS Training Centre, 895 Eastern Ave., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families are welcome to join firefighters for displays, mini combat challenge events for children, fire safety videos, junior firefighter photos, live firefighting demonstrations, fire truck display, a bouncing inflatable fire truck, a barbecue and much more.

Open house events will also be held October 5 and 6 (starting at 5:30 p.m. both days). The event on Tuesday, October 5 will be held at the North Command Training Centre, 200 Bermondsey Rd. The event on Wednesday, October 6 will take place at the East Command Training Centre, 4560 Sheppard Ave. E.

In addition, the public can watch for Toronto Fire Service Fire Prevention Week displays each evening at four Cineplex Odeon Theatres: Eglinton Town Centre, Scotiabank Centre, Yonge Eglinton Centre and the Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinema.

During Fire Prevention Week, Toronto Fire Services staff will be out in various communities conducting Project Zero, a program that encourages homeowners to install and maintain working smoke alarms on every storey of their home, and outside all sleeping areas.

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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