Fire SAFE Ontario

Fire SAFE Ontario

August 15, 2005 10:30 ET

Reducing Fire Related Deaths Goal of New Campaign

Installing home fire sprinkler system, smoke alarm reduces deaths by 82 per cent Attention: City Editor, Home/Garden Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 15, 2005) - Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available on the CP picture wire via PR Direct.

An Ontario-wide campaign to pass legislation requiring the mandatory installation of residential fire sprinkler systems in all new houses, apartments and condominiums was launched today by a coalition of groups representing fire professionals, consumers and the sprinkler industry. The initiative, championed by the Fire Sprinkler Alliance for Everyone (Fire SAFE Ontario), is being led by Alan Speed, the City of Toronto's former Fire Chief.

"In more than 35 years as a professional firefighter, I have seen too many preventable tragedies," says Al Speed, the City of Toronto's former Fire Chief. "Today, no one would live in a home that does not have a smoke alarm. While this has contributed to a decline in deaths, it is just one part of creating a fire-safe home. Residential fire sprinkler systems are the next step in protecting what you value most - your family and your home. In fact, installing a residential fire sprinkler system and smoke alarm in your home reduces the risk for death by 82 per cent."

More than 220 North American jurisdictions currently have legislation in place making residential fire sprinkler systems mandatory and Ontario is aiming to be next. In Vancouver, where such systems have been mandated for 10 years, there has not been a single accidental fire fatality in a home where there is a fire sprinkler system.

"It's time for Ontario to take a leadership role and become the first province in Canada to mandate residential fire sprinkler systems," says Linda Jeffrey, the MPP who is has presented a private members bill to legislate residential fire sprinkler systems. "I am very encouraged by the support from Members of all three parties as well as the many municipalities, fire services and ordinary Ontarians who have contacted me to indicate their desire for mandatory residential fire sprinkler systems. They understand how this initiative will save lives."

According to a recent POLLARA poll, fire safety in the home is important to 79 per cent of Ontarians and 67 per cent support making residential fire sprinkler systems mandatory in new residences and high rise dwellings.

"While fire fighters risk their lives to save Ontarians each and every day, the fact remains that residential fire sprinklers can contain and even extinguish a fire in less time than it takes the fire department to arrive on the scene," says Speed. "Many Fire departments and municipalities support a law that mandates residential sprinkler systems because it would save fire fighter and occupant lives, reduce property loss and lower insurance premiums."

Residential Fire Sprinkler System Facts

Sprinklers respond independently to each other so only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate. Ninety per cent of fires are contained by the operation of just one sprinkler and the likelihood of a sprinkler system malfunction is one in 16 million. The average insurance claim in a home fire where there is a sprinkler is $1,000 and it is $15,000 when there is no sprinkler system. Residential fire sprinkler systems cost one to one and a half per cent of the total building cost of new construction and will save on homeowner insurance.

Fire SAFE Ontario

The Fire Sprinkler Alliance for Everyone (Fire SAFE Ontario) was created as a not-for-profit organization to educate, promote and advance residential fire sprinkler systems in Ontario. Fire SAFE Ontario is committed to passing legislation requiring fire sprinkler installation in all new residential, apartment and condominium construction in Ontario.

/For further information: Ann Gallery
High View Communications
416-322-5897
agallery@highviewcommunications.com
/ IN: POLITICS, TECHNOLOGY

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