Fire chief’s message of fire safety and prevention

On average 5,400 fires are reported to the Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Commissioner’s office each year.

When a smoke alarm goes off

By Fire Chief Ted Dillon

Everyday of our lives we make use of fire/heat, directly or indirectly, in one form or another. Whether it is cooking on the stove/BBQ/microwave, furnace, driving our vehicle, candles, fireplaces/wood-burning stoves, electric heaters, or smoking, the potential for something to happen is present. On average 5,400 fires are reported to the Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s Fire Commissioner’s office each year. Homes account for 28 per cent of all fires and 60 per cent of all fire deaths and injuries.

Whenever the sirens of a fire truck are heard, we experience a moment of concern for the safety of the public and emergency responders. Over the years the number of fires and the destruction they bring to life and property have been reduced. However, we still need to be vigilant about fire prevention and safety especially in our homes where most fire deaths occur.

There are some simple actions that all of us can do to help prevent devastating fires and burns:

• Test the water before putting a child in a bath.

• Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking on the stovetop.

• Extinguish candles before going to bed or leave the house.

• Keep portable heaters away from bedding or curtains.

• Have working smoke alarms and a proper escape plan.

• Learn where fire hazards lurk in your home.

• Find out how you can prevent these fire hazards from getting out of control.

Research shows toxic smoke from burning synthetic materials found in drapes, carpets and furniture in modern homes can build up to deadly levels in as little as three minutes. Yet only a few realize that it may take seven or more minutes for the fire service to respond. Preventing fires in and around your home is more critical than ever before.

Also, with winter just around the corner and the increased use of furnaces, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, water heaters, and vehicle idling, comes the potential for carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is the invisible killer produced by burning fuels. Take the time to install a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway near the bedrooms for each separate sleeping area to help keep your family safe.

Taking the time now to make small changes in our routines and actions will have a positive impact on your safety. Practising fire safety will protect your family, friends and neighbours. Together we can reduce the number of fires and fire-related tragedies.

To learn more about home fire safety, contact our office, visit Ponoka’s website at or visit the Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s new interactive website at

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

Ponoka County approves $70,000 to dredge Parkland Beach

Parkland Beach to see some dredging support from Ponoka County

Ponoka sets bylaw on cannabis retail, pushes for quick public consumption regulation

Town passes first reading on retail outlet bylaw, questions staff on need to separate public usage

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: Inside an eerily empty mall in Canada

Only nine of 517 retail spaces are open for business as the grand opening postponed to next year

Tens of thousands without power following tornado in Ottawa region

Hydro Ottawa says more than 170,000 customers were without power early this morning

BALONEY METER: Do Liberal policies mean a typical family is $2,000 richer?

MPs took to Twitter to talk how ‘typical’ Canadian families have more money due to Liberal policies

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Most Read