Please see the following release from the OMFEM.
Public Education Matters
Enhancing Fire Safety Education and Prevention in Your Community
Issue 192, May 5, 2020
Number of Ontario Fire Fatalities Increases by 65%
Over the Same Time Last Year
Dear Fire Chief, Public Educator, Fire Prevention Officer:
Between January 1 and May 4, 2019 there were 31 fire fatalities in Ontario. Over that same period in 2020, there have been 51 fire fatalities, an increase of 65%.
With so many Ontarians now at home because of physical distancing measures due to COVID-19, it is especially important to stress to the public the importance of preventing fires in the home, testing smoke alarms and practicing home fire escape plans.
In support of local public fire safety education efforts by fire departments, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has developed the attached news release template that can be customized and sent to local media to help urge the public to be vigilant about fire safety. The Fire Marshal has sent a similar news release to media across Ontario.
Also, a broad variety of public fire safety education resources are available on the OFM website (French) to assist in your local public education initiatives. These include:
- Tweets (French) on a variety of fire safety issues;
- Social media cards (French) and videos (French);
- Home fire escape plans video (French);
- News release templates (French);
- Information sheets (French);
- Public service announcements (French).Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have also brought other new concerns and challenges. One such concern is the suggestion that face masks can be decontaminated or sterilized for re-use by heating them in a microwave oven. This practice is a potential fire hazard and should be discouraged. The attached news release template includes a recommendation against this unsafe practice. People should follow the advice and recommendations of medical and health professionals when it comes to the use, care and maintenance of personal protective equipment (PPE).