Timmins firefighters conduct pandemic-conscious home inspections
TIMMINS -- If you’re a Timmins resident, you may receive a visit from local firefighters as part of the Timmins Fire Department’s annual Home Inspection Program.
Fire crews will be going door-to-door until Nov., checking if residents have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors — as well as an emergency plan in case of a fire.
While the pandemic has preoccupied many people’s attention, fire prevention officer Lisa Meadows told CTV News that fires and carbon monoxide are still risks to be prepared for.
"There has been an increase in kitchen fires in other jurisdictions, especially in Toronto, though we have seen some here," Meadows said. "Because people aren’t getting out as much, it is extremely important to have an evacuation plan, to have smoke alarms tested and CO2 detectors working at all times."
Meadows said the fire department would normally conduct around 2,000 inspections in its annual rounds but with this pandemic causing delays, she said will do as many as possible while educating the public.
Inspections will involve physical distancing, Meadows said, and if invited into a person’s home to test equipment, then inspectors will wear facemasks.
In the event of a fire, department lieutenant Vic Helin said households need to have emergency and evacuation procedures in place to make sure every person and important document makes it out of the incident safely.
"Have a plan, a gathering, where you’re going to meet outside, so everyone can be accounted for," Helin said. "So when we do show up, we can either know that there are people outside that are fine or that people are still in the house."
In a news release, the fire department listed the essentials of any emergency plan:
• Safe exits and evacuation routes
• Personal and emergency contact numbers
• Primary and secondary meeting places
• Important documents (identification, insurance, wills)
• Planning for any special needs
The aim of this year’s run of the program, is to have residents realize that other hazards are still possible while this health crisis continues to disrupt people’s lives, said Helin. He said people should do everything possible to be prepared to avoid being caught off guard.
"Make sure you have fire prevention at the back of your head to prevent small fires from becoming big fires," said Helin.