Duncan Rydall Chief Fire Prevention Officer

Fire Education and Detection, Saving Lives

Another family tragedy yesterday, a mom and 4 children perish in a house fire at Big Trout Lake in northern Ontario Canada. Was there adequate fire protection, water pressure enough firefighters and most importantly enough detection?

There are 10 year lithium battery powered smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms available in Canada that are tamper resistant. The batteries are not accessible, the devices communicate wirelessly and you can therefore place them in every single room in your house.

The next component is training, a home escape plan is not a nice to have it is a need to have! The disregard in maintaining smoke alarms and not bothering to have a home escape plan is in my mind negligence.

Plain and simple, we teach our kids many things and one thing we neglect to do is PLAN OUR ESCAPE when the smoke alarm sounds. Remote villages such as Big Trout Lake have their unique challenges and systematically planning is part of survival.

Redesigning how homes are built for these unique villages is a starting point but one important thing to establish is education on escaping a fire. Preventing the fire in the first place is number one however accidents do happen, the educational escaping component needs to delivered consistently to become second nature.

For the people reading this including the emergency service workers (we are not exempt, there is nothing magical protecting us), how about placing home escape planning on your next health and safety meeting agenda, your tailgate talk at the work site and at your next PTA meeting.

Please make a point of discussing your home escape plan with your family today, the grief if a fire occurs and the plan wasn’t discussed will haunt you. If you do not think it is important, then just think for a moment what it would be like to go home to a burnt out foundation tonight and everything you work for including your family is in the ash and rubble. 

Saying a prayer this morning for those suffering from this most recent tragedy, we can do better people, please do your part.

Best Regards,
Duncan Rydall

About the author: Duncan Rydall Verified icon 2 Verified icon 3

Duncan Rydall has been in the fire service industry 18 years and was working in an industrial occupation as a fire safety instructor for 10 years prior to the fire service. Working through the ranks as a volunteer firefighter Duncan attained a Deputy Chief position within the volunteer ranks. Hired to a career department Duncan worked as a Fire Inspector and quickly moved up the ranks to his current position as Chief Fire Prevention Officer.

As a whole we all need to take fire and life safety education far more seriously! One in four persons will at some time experience a fire in their home. Education is key and the Fire-ED Interactive System is the right toolkit to get the job done. A firefighter wouldn't battle a fire without the right safety clothing and tools and equipment. Having access to cutting edge interactive tools to educate the public will help get the job done right if we utilize Fire-ED!

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