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This year’s Fire Prevention Week theme will be “Serve up Fire Safety in the Kitchen”

- the informational campaign will take place virtually, between October 4 and 10 -


by Sylene Argent

Typically, the local fire station is quite the gathering-point during its annual open house, which takes place in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week. Due to the Coronavirus, however, Firefighters will host things a little differently this year, but are still looking forward to spreading important fire safety messaging out to the community in fun and engaging ways.

  This year’s Fire Prevention Week will take place virtually, between October 4 to 10, and will offer the “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen” theme.

  Residents will be able to enjoy learning from educational videos and participating in online activities at www.essex.ca/FirePreventionWeek. Fire safety tips will also be forwarded.

  In addition, residents will have a chance to win fire safety prize packs for participating in the online activities planned.

  “We would have loved to do the annual open house, but safety is more important,” Essex Fire Chief Rick Arnel explained, pointing out COVID-19 regulations.

  Kitchen fires, Jason Pillon, Assistant Deputy Fire Chief – Prevention/Public Education for Essex Fire & Rescue, said are the number one leading cause of fire and fire-related injuries. This includes from unattended cooking, which is not recommended.

  Kitchen safety tips Pillon shared included always be alert and in the kitchen when cooking, and to keep the proper sized lid on hand, ready for use, if it is needed. He also suggested keeping a three-meter clearance zone from a cooking area, clear of things that could accidentally ignite.

  Fire Prevention Week takes place just before Thanksgiving weekend. This holiday weekend, Pillon added, is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment, so this year’s kitchen safety theme, and its related messaging, will come out at a great time.

  One of the perpetual messages firefighters send along annually, is to check and test the batteries in smoke alarms, which are required to be placed on every level and outside sleeping areas in a home, during the start of Daylight Saving Time, and at the end, which will be November 1 this year. Pillon suggests also checking smoke alarm expiration dates at this time.  

  Those who have fire or smoke alarm-related questions are welcome to call representatives of Essex Fire & Rescue during business hours at (519) 776-7132 to get advice.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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