OTTAWA, October 9, 2018 - The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement today to mark Fire Prevention Week:
“This spring and summer, as wildfires burned in British Columbia, we saw firsthand the devastating impacts fire can have on our communities. All Canadians have an important role to play in keeping their communities and families safe.
From October 7 – 13, we mark Fire Prevention Week in Canada. This year’s theme is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere.” I encourage Canadians to use this theme to familiarize themselves with three simple, but essential, steps to both prevent fires before they start and to learn how to escape safely and quickly in the event of one.
The first step is to look for places where fires can start. Situational awareness is crucial to fire safety and paying attention to your surroundings can make a potentially life-saving difference. The second step is to listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. Fires spread quickly and you may only have minutes to safely escape once a fire alarm sounds. Take the time this week to test the smoke alarms in your home. The third, and final, step is to learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.
I commend the work of all fire safety leaders and stakeholders for their efforts to ensure Canadians are aware of fire safety practices to help prevent fire before it starts.
Of course, some families know all too well the dangers of fire and the inherent risk accepted by firefighters. On September 9th, we marked the second annual Firefighters’ National Memorial Day in Canada. It was a day of memory and mourning to all firefighters who lost their lives by saving others. We honour those who risk their lives to keep us safe and we stand with their families when tragedy strikes. It’s for that reason that we launched the Government of Canada’s Memorial Grant for First Responders this past spring. This new benefit for families of firefighters, police officers and paramedics who lost a loved one as a direct result of their duties is an important advancement in how our country supports those who keep us safe.
I would like to once again thank firefighters and first responders from across the country for their tremendous courage and commitment to public service when faced with dangerous emergencies, both large and small.
Visit www.GetPrepared.gc.ca for more resources to help you and your family practice fire safety, and help spread the word online using #FirePreventionWeek.”