Yorkton Fire Protective Services responded to 36 fires in 2018 so far, and 16 of those were preventable. The goal of Fire Prevention Week, running from Oct. 7-13, is to get people thinking about fire prevention and safety in their homes, with the hope of seeing a reduction of the number of fires putting families at risk.
This year’s theme is Look, Listen, Learn explained Deputy Fire Chief Harry Wilkins. With look, people should look for potential fire dangers in their home. For example, people who smoke should be aware of things like dry grass and leaves when they discard cigarette butts. When it comes to listen, people need to keep an ear out for any alarms in their home. Families should also learn two ways out of each room in their home.
Families should look to make sure doors and windows operate freely, and plan with the whole family what they should do if a fire breaks out in their home and where they would meet after. A meeting place is important, explains Wilkins, because that’s where you can ensure everyone is present and accounted for after you escape the home.
The fire department does more than just respond to fires. They conduct inspections, over 380 in the past year, covering everything from schools to apartment buildings to businesses.
“We go around and ensure that the buildings in Yorkton are as safe as they can be,” explained Wilkins.
The department also does presentations to schools, with each platoon being assigned two schools to do safety presentations and inspections, doing 32 over the past year.
They also install child car seat installation for families, either at the fire hall or in association with the Family Resource Centre at SIGN on Broadway. They have five officers on staff trained to safely install seats and teach families how they can tell if their seat is correctly installed.
Yorkton Fire Protective Services will be the hosts of a pancake breakfast from 7-10 a.m. on Oct. 10 for Fire Safety Week.