Fire Safety Being Reinforced During Arson Awareness Week

By Brian Schultz

Firefighters battle flames at the East Elmwood Community Centre on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (MAURICE BRUNEAU / CHRISD.CA)

Besides Emergency Preparedness Week, it’s also Arson Awareness Week, and the Winnipeg Fire Department is ensuring parents teach their children the dangers of playing with fire.

Firefighters are reminding parents this week to:

  • Supervise young children closely. Don’t leave them alone, even for short periods of time.
  • Keep matches and lighters in a locked drawer or cabinet out of the reach of children; preferably in a location where a child is least likely to explore.
  • Encourage your children to tell you when they find matches and lighters.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches or other clues your child is playing with fire.

The WFD says one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is to have a working smoke alarm and escape plan.

Other tips being reinforced this week include:

  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, to get out of the house quickly and to call for help from another location.
  • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house.
  • Show them how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes catch fire.
  • Create and practice a home fire escape plan and arrange a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two escape routes from their bedrooms.

— With files from the City of Winnipeg