VICTORIA -- From the time your smoke alarm sounds, you may have as little as two minutes to get out and escape the flames.
Statistics Canada shows that fires in homes continue to be a significant threat to public safety. That's why fire departments throughout the Capital Region want residents to plan and practise their escapes.
The slogan for this year's Fire Prevention Week is "Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practise Your Escape!"
"We want everyone to look and see if they have a home escape plan," said assistant Victoria fire chief Brad Sifert. "We want people to be safe, to know how to get out and how to react should there be an emergency or a situation where their smoke alarm goes off."
This year’s campaign is designed to educate the public about the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe in the event of a fire. The Victoria Fire Department emphasizes that having a working smoke alarm can save your life.
"Smoke alarms do save lives. Like many say, it is your nose at night," said Sifert. "If you have a smoke alarm, you have a better chance of getting out safely."
But having a working smoke alarm is only part of the plan.
Fire departments recommend mapping the layout of your home, marking two exits from every room with a path from each exit to outside. Be sure to pick a meeting place in front of your home where everyone will meet when they get out. They advise that each home should have at least one smoke alarm on every floor and in each bedroom.
Firefighters also want to remind you to make sure everyone in your family knows how to call 911 from a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone once safely outside.
"With this year's theme being 'Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practise Your Escape,' we want people to know they don’t have to be a firefighter in order to be a hero," said Sifert. "If you have a working smoke alarm and have a way out if there is a fire, everyone can be a hero."
During Fire Prevention Week, Victoria firefighters will be visiting elementary schools to participate in fire drills and promote fire prevention and protection in the home.
The department offers free smoke alarms to residents who need one. To learn more about Fire Prevention Week, visit www.victoria.ca/fireprevention.
Fire Prevention Week runs from October 6 to 12, 2019.