Volume 92, Issue 20

Wednesday, October 7, 1998




Only you can prevent fires

This week is fire prevention week and today is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with a common and essential house appliance – the fire extinguisher.

Fire Prevention Week is an annual event organized by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs whose purpose is to raise the general awareness of fire safety, said Peter Roberts, chief prevention officer of the department of occupational health and safety.

This year, Fire Prevention Week's theme is "Fire Drills: The Great Escape," Roberts said. To present further information about fire awareness, there will be a fire prevention booth set up in the atrium of the University Community Centre.

Today, from noon to 1:30 p.m., the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs will also be presenting live fire extinguishing on the University College Hill, Roberts said. "Many people have not had the opportunity to discharge a fire extinguisher, so we will give them a controlled situation for them to extinguish.

"Along with the demonstration, any fire related questions will be gladly answered and literature will be handed out too," Roberts added.

As for the importance of fire awareness, Roberts said 85 per cent of fire fatalities are caused by smoke inhalation. Therefore, it is important that everyone evacuates a building when its smoke detectors are activated.

Roberts added that many individuals do not take fire drills seriously. "We did fire drills in the spring and some people were reluctant to leave."

Roberts said North America has a lot of knowledge about fire awareness. He also noted many Western students will be living abroad and he feels that it would be beneficial worldwide if they can pass on their knowledge about how to handle fires to less aware countries.


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Copyright The Gazette 1998