Cooking & smoking are leading causes of fire in Mississauga

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(Photo: Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services)

BY KELLY ROCHE

Don’t be a turkey by walking away from the stove while Thanksgiving dinner is being prepared.

“Our number one cause of fire is cooking,” said the city’s assistant chief of fire prevention and life safety Jamie Zimmerman, noting the trend carries province-wide.

Sometimes it’s triggered by wearing loose clothing, leaving the kitchen, or an appliance overload.

Smoking is the second most common fire starter — typically misuse or improper discarding.

“It should be straightforward, but we see it time and time again,” said Zimmerman.

Mississauga firefighters handle about 400 calls each year related to fire with a loss of life or property.

“We see the impacts on the families,” as well as neighbours and staff “when these things occur,” Zimmerman said.

An average of 300 calls annually come in as a fire with no loss.

Although national fire prevention week has wrapped, firefighters are stressing safety throughout the long weekend and beyond.

Zimmerman said smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and an escape plan are essential, but hearing the beep while you sleep can be easier said than done, especially if the bedroom door is closed.

“It does delay your early warning,” said Zimmerman.

He suggested taking your safety game to the next level by installing a working alarm in each bedroom.

Knowing human behaviour contributes to fire, “our goal is zero deaths, zero injuries related to fires,” Zimmerman said.

     INJURY VS. DEATH

     Year        Civilian Injury    Firefighter Death

  • 2009                 8                               0
  • 2010               20                               1
  • 2011               24                               1
  • 2012               14                               2
  • 2013               10                               2

(Source: Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services)

@qewsouthpost

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