Waterloo Fire Rescue hosts annual prevention week

Graphic by Fani Hsieh
Graphic by Fani Hsieh

Fire Prevention Week is designed to create awareness about various fire safety practices across North America.

The primary focus of Fire Prevention Week is to change the behaviors around fire safety by creating a discussion around the topic of fire safety.

This year’s campaign, “Don’t wait check the date! Replace smoke alarms every 10 years,” highlights the importance of knowing fire prevention techniques in your home.

Fire Safety Prevention Week, in partnership with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), was held from October 9-15 with a kickoff event at Conestoga Mall.

Waterloo Fire Rescue’s public education officer, John Percy, explained why it is important to learn about fire safety and prevention.

As the public safety officer during Fire Prevention Week, Percy’s duties were to educate as many people as possible about fire safety tips and how to react if a fire does occurs.

“It is important because annually, approximately 100 people die in the province due to home fire and many, many more are injured,” said Percy via email.

Percy also explained in the press release regarding Fire Prevention Week that smoke alarms save lives time and time again, and that tragedies do occur when smoke alarms are not working properly.

“The leading cause of injuries due to fires in Waterloo and in the province is unattended cooking. It is important that students stay in the kitchen when they cook. If a pot on the stove catches fire, they should use a lid and slide it over the pot to put out the fire by wearing an oven mitt. They should never pour water in a pot that contains oil or grease as it will explode and their skin can be severely burned,” said Percy.

Percy also shared more information on ways students can prevent fires in their homes and residences and how to exit a residence safely if a fire occurs.

“It is also very important that first-year students know the emergency procedures in their residential buildings and always follow directions provided by dons on their floors. Students must be very careful when using open flames in classrooms such as in labs or when using candles or matches,” said Percy.

“Students that live off-campus must ensure that they have working smoke alarms on every level of their home and that they know at least two ways out in case of a fire.”

Waterloo Fire Rescue has previously played an active role in demonstrating safety to Laurier students with events such as the burn room presemtation during orientation week this past September.

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