A campaign to eliminate carbon monoxide and fire-related deaths gave a boost last week to the Woolwich Fire Department.
The township organization is providing 244 combination carbon monoxide and smoke alarms through Safe Community Project Zero.
“Every year in Ontario there are unnecessary deaths from smoke and CO alarms that don’t work. In Ontario in 2022 there were 33 such fatalities taking an extreme toll on families, communities, and fire fighters,” said Dennis Aldous, Woolwich fire chief, at an event January 12 at the St. Jacobs fire hall. “This donation gives the fire department the ability to make sure as many people as possible have a working detector.”
The donation came through Safe Community Project Zero, a “public education campaign that will provide more than 8,000 alarms to residents in 50 municipalities across Ontario,” according to a release from the Township of Woolwich. Enbridge Gas provided $250,000 to the project this year.
The local donation is a joint effort by the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council, Woolwich Fire Services and Enbridge to increase safety in the township.
“We are partnering with Community Care Concepts, Woolwich Community Services and the Elmira Legion to place them in homes throughout the community. Our firefighters will install the alarms,” said Aldous.
Aldous says that over the last few years, the department has seen an increase in non-working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms during their annual alarms program, which prompted him to apply for the grant.
The detectors are powered by maintenance-free sealed batteries, and have a lifespan of approximately 10 years.
Craig Eveson, Deputy Fire Chief estimates the alarms are worth about 90 dollars each.
“Carbon monoxide is known as the ‘silent killer’ for a reason, and evidence shows that prevention saves lives,” said Shawn Artt, a supervisor at Enbridge Gas in a release. “We know that the best way to avoid carbon monoxide exposure is to eliminate it at the source by properly maintaining fuel-burning equipment, and that the alarms are a critical second line of defense to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.”
“Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms save lives so please make sure to check yours to make sure it works,” said Aldous.