In the early hours of Monday, Oct. 7, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin stood before a small crowd of firefighters and onlookers outside City Hall and ushered in the start of the city’s annual Fire Prevention Week. Held across Canada, the campaign reminds Canadian households to practice fire safety and prevention in the home.
“This year we’re specifically focusing on kitchen fires, recognizing that that’s where the majority [of fires] happen,” said Mayor Fortin. “You have to remind people every year.” The mayor noted that the awareness week prompted his own wife to check their smoke detectors and kitchen extinguishers.
“Much like earthquake preparation,” the mayor said, “I think that, frankly, education is important.”
Kitchen fires cause the majority of home fires and home-fire related injuries, but in his proclamation, the mayor argued that both damage and loss of life were preventable with education, and he urged citizens to participate in prevention activities over the course of the week.
To help raise awareness, on Oct. 7, Oct. 9 and Oct. 11, the Victoria Fire Department has partnered with Domino’s Pizza to deliver pizzas between the hours of 6:30 and 10:00 p.m. If, on delivery, smoke alarms are found to be in working order, the pizza is free. The Victoria Fire Department will also visit elementary schools to participate in fire drills and promote fire prevention and protection.
In addition to checking smoke detectors, the Victoria Fire Department offered some important safety tips, including
- staying in the kitchen while cooking
- turning off the stove, if leaving the kitchen is unavoidable
- using a timer when simmering, baking, or roasting food
- keeping young children away from the stove and using back burners whenever possible
- keeping towels, oven mitts, utensils, and any other flammable kitchen materials away from burners
- wearing tight-fitting sleeves, and cleaning food and grease from burners and stovetops.