Municipality of Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services partnered with local high school students to conduct a controlled burn demonstration at Port Hope High School on Friday, November 30, using side-by-side burn demonstration units that were built by students of the school’s shop class, in an effort to illustrate the importance of smoke alarms, fire sprinklers and fire safety in the home.
“Fire safety and prevention education is one of the most important aspects of our jobs as firefighters,” explained Fire Chief C. Ryan Edgar, Director of Fire and Emergency Services for the Municipality of Port Hope. “Today’s demonstration was a great way to get our local students involved in the program and to expose our youth to the simple ways that one can help to prevent a fire in their home.”
The live demonstration included two similarly furnished rooms - one protected with fire sprinklers and the other without. The students and other spectators who attended the demonstration observed how quickly a fire can become deadly versus the rapid response and effectiveness of a fire sprinkler system in controlling or extinguishing a fire.
“By giving the students the opportunity to observe a fire firsthand, with and without fire safety measures in place, we are arming them with the information and education that they need to make responsible decisions about fire safety in the home,” continued Chief Edgar. “In a real home fire, occupants typically only have two minutes or less to escape safely, from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Education is the key to preventing loss of life.”
Earlier this year, Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services was awarded a stipend from the national nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), to increase its home fire sprinkler education locally by conducting a live, side-by-side fire and sprinkler burn demonstration. HFSC selected fire departments in Canada that participate in their Built For Life Fire Department Program to receive the stipends and educate the general public. Built for Life Fire Departments are committed to making home fire sprinklers a focus of their public education efforts.
The project also received generous support and assistance from Gilmer’s Home Hardware Building Centre and Bardon Supplies.
“We are honoured to have been selected for this stipend,” noted Chief Edgar. “Using the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition’s educational materials, we immediately moved forward with this important public education demonstration, which illustrated the danger of home fires, especially in today’s lightweight construction homes, and, more importantly, the lifesaving benefits of home fire sprinklers.”
For more information about home fire sprinklers, please visit the Port Hope Fire and Emergency Services website at porthopefire.ca or the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition website at homefiresprinklercanada.ca.
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For more information, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator