Sooke firefighters remind you to plan and practice

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6 to 12

Sooke Fire Rescue is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Weekcampaign, “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”

The campaign works to educate everyone about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

Data from Statistics Canada show that the number of structure fires declined by 26 per cent between 2005 and 2014. However, residential fires consistently accounted for roughly six of every 10 structural fires during that period.

Cooking equipment and smokers’ material caused approximately six of every 10 residential fires, according to Statistics Canada.

“These numbers show that home fires continue to pose a significant threat to safety,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice-president of outreach and advocacy.

“In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Escape planning and practice can help you make the most of the time you have, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

While NFPA and the Sooke Fire Rescue Department are focusing on home fires, these messages apply to virtually any location.

“Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Sooke Fire Rescue deputy chief Matt Barney.

“No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

The B.C. Fire Training Officers Association, B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, Fire Chiefs’ Association of B.C., Fire Prevention Officers’ Association of B.C., First Nations’ Emergency Services Society, FortisBC and Office of the Fire Commissioner are hosting a fire and burn prevention contest, with an opportunity to win prizes for elementary school students.

Details on the contest, including deadlines, rules and prizes, can be found on the Office of the Fire Commissioners’ website at www.gov.bc.ca/FireSafety/FirePreventionWeek.

Fire prevention resource materials are available at Sooke Fire Station No. 1, 2225 Otter Point Rd.

For general information about Fire Prevention Week and home escape planning, please go online to www.fpw.org.

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