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Cornwall Fire Service Extending Smoke Alarm Campaign

Media Release
City of Cornwall

Cornwall Fire Service Extending Smoke Alarm Campaign
The Cornwall Fire Service is extending its Smoke Alarm Blitz through the month of October as the service continues to reach out to residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home.
PHOTO CREDIT - portcoquitlam.ca

Cornwall - Oct. 5, 2011 - The Cornwall Fire Service is extending its Smoke Alarm Blitz through the month of October as the service continues to reach out to residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in the home.

“Smoke alarms can save lives, but only if they’re working properly,” said Deputy Chief Richard McCullough.

Last month, the fire service initiated a voluntary smoke alarm inspection blitz in which firefighters visited homes to check if smoke alarms were compliant. When a smoke alarm is absent or not working, firefighters provide a new one for free.

Over the course of four weekends in September, firefighters inspected a total of 266 dwellings in Cornwall. Of those, 150 were deemed compliant, while 116 - or 44 % - were deemed non-compliant. All told, the fire service installed 150 new smoke alarms in the non-compliant homes (some homes required more than one alarm), and they installed batteries in 17 alarms that weren’t functioning properly.

It’s the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas. Failure to comply with the law can result in a ticket of $235 or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals or $100,000 for corporations.

“The results of our blitz tell us that we still have some work to do in getting the message out about the laws surrounding smoke alarms,” said Deputy Chief McCullough.

The September inspections were carried out on dwellings in the area bounded by Adolphus Street to the west, Alice Street to the east, Second Street to the north, and the St. Lawrence River to the south. This residential area was specifically chosen given the age and density of the dwellings and the high number of multi-unit, tenant-occupied properties. The fire service plans to carry out inspections in other areas of the city next year.

“The goal of the inspection blitz is to educate residents about smoke alarms, and we’re going to continue spreading that message throughout October,” Deputy Chief McCullough added.

Residents are encouraged to follow these fire safety tips:

- Test smoke alarms regularly to ensure they are working.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on every storey of the home.
- Ensure smoke alarms are placed outside all sleeping areas.
- Install battery-operated smoke alarms or electrically-connected alarms with a battery back-up.
- Develop and practice a fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if a fire occurs.


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