County fire chief advises citizens to be safe

Big Lakes County fire chief John McDermott reminds people that fire safety is everybody’s responsibility.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County fire chief John McDermott advises people to be safe and cautious as he promotes Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13.

“This year’s campaign is “look, listen, learn, be aware, fire can happen anywhere,” says McDermott, who began work in the position Jan. 3, 2018.

He directs Big Lakes County Fire Services, served by five fire districts with crews and halls in Enilda, Faust, Grouard, Joussard and Kinuso.

“The campaign works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire and how to escape safely in the event of a fire.”

He advises people to take three steps to be safe.

-Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

-Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

-Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

The fire chief urges be to be safety-conscious.

“Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility,” McDermott says.

“Forming a responsible attitude and safe habits around fire safety is key in preventing fires; whether its inside the home, on the trails or just doing your everyday routine, it’s important to make sure what you’re doing and how you’re doing it isn’t going to start a fire.”

He is also concerned that false alarm responses within the county are on the rise.

“Whether it’s a commercial alarm or a residential alarm that turns out to be nothing, it’s important for those that have them to ensure the systems are working correctly.”

“If the fire service is repeatedly responding to the same location for a false alarm, this creates a situation where we have critical resources deployed where they could be needed elsewhere.”

For more information on fire safety and other programs and campaigns, phone McDermott at [780] 776-0007.


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