“Not every hero wears a cape, plan and practice your escape!” is the campaign focus for the National Fire Prevention Association’s 2019 Fire Prevention Week.
The District of Saanich has a week of activities, drills and information sessions planned for Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 6 to 12.
Firefighters will be at local schools throughout the week teaching staff and students what to do from the moment the fire alarm rings. Students from kindergarten to grade three will also work on activity booklets that will help them learn to prevent and escape fires in the home.
In Canada, fire departments respond to about 25,600 structure fires every year and in 2015, almost 200 people passed away in structure fires. Having an escape plan can save time and lives because after the smoke alarm goes off, there’s a one- to two-minute window to escape, said Lt. Insp. Sean Lillis of the Saanich Fire Department.
Today’s materials burn faster, he explained. In the past, it would take a living room about 20 minutes to go up in flames, but now, it would take only two and a half minutes. Kids practice escaping their schools and we should all practice escaping our homes, Lillis noted.
In honour of Fire Prevention Week, Saanich’s young residents will be able to lend a hand in building and decorating a fire boat at Home Depot Day alongside some real firefighters. Dates and times have yet to be announced for the event.
Several community information sessions will also be hosted throughout the District. On Oct. 7 and 9 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., folks can stop by the booth at Tillicum Mall for tips and advice. Firefighters will also be at an information booth at Uptown Mall on Oct. 8 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. with swag and fire safety pointers.
Have you got something specific you’d like to ask a Saanich firefighter? Let us know. Submit your burning questions on Facebook or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll choose some to ask the folks at the Saanich Fire Department.