MuskokaONline.com News - #GOTLOCAL

Fire Deaths Up Across The Province

Posted: 2019-01-04 10:46:11 By: hbr

2018 has proven to be a deadly year across the Province with persons dying in fires at a higher than normal level according to Provincial fire officials. This has local firefighters sounding the alarm.

Emergency responses in Gravenhurst were up by 7% in 2018. This counters a five year trend in Gravenhust which has shown a decrease in fire department responses of almost 30% between 2012 and 2017.

Fire Chief Larry Brassard says “Deaths due to fires have been on a gradual decline in recent years, but in 2018 the number of people who died in fires across Ontario rose to 101.  Everyone needs to be aware of this because far too often people tend to disassociate themselves from this reality,” he added.

The leading causes of fires in Ontario continue to be careless smoking related and fires that occur in the kitchen.  Often alcohol consumption added to the mix spells disaster, he says.

If people are inclined to smoke, fire departments encourage the following common sense safety measures:

  • Only buy cigarettes from reputable suppliers and sources
  • Smoke only outdoors
  • Discard and account for EVERY cigarette butt by disposing of them in a metal container
  • Account for and keep matches and lighters out of the hands of children
  • Never smoke in bed, when drowsy or in an oxygen enriched atmosphere
  • Don’t discard cigarette butts by throwing them out of a moving vehicle

“Kitchen and cooking related fires are also preventable for the most part,” said Brassard. “Staying in the kitchen and being attentive to what’s on the stove or in the oven are the most important factors. Ensuring that element

temperatures are appropriate and that pots don’t boil over is also critical.” Brassard noted that being present in the kitchen at all times and being watchful is just common sense.

For small kitchen fires in their beginning stage, a properly placed portable fire extinguisher can also keep a fire from becoming a disaster. For advice on fire extinguishers or any fire prevention matter, please call your local fire dept or in an emergency, always call 9-1-1 promptly.