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Niagara Falls
Friday, July 12, 2024
Fire program aims to prevent CO deaths

Niagara-on-the-Lake’s fire department, with the help of Enbridge Gas Inc., is on a mission to eradicate the silent killer in residential homes ­– carbon monoxide.

The town’s fire department has received 126 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as part of Enbridge’s Project Zero public education campaign which aims to reduce carbon monoxide-related injuries and deaths to zero.

The announcement was made at Fire Station 1 on Anderson Lane in Old Town on Monday afternoon.

Each year, Enbridge Gas, in conjunction with the provincial Fire Marshal’s Office, reviews applications from municipal fire services and chooses recipients and how many alarms each municipality will receive.

This year, the company said it invested $275,000 in Project Zero to provide more than 9,100 alarms to residents in 40 municipalities across Ontario.

Alarms are expected to be distributed through the fire department’s public events and education campaigns by mid-January, said fire chief Nick Ruller.

On average, the fire department does about 60 to 70 carbon monoxide investigation calls per year.

In October, town fire services received five gas and carbon monoxide-related calls, according to the department’s fire incidents map.

“In the past, we’ve had carbon monoxide incidents where residents had suffered from an explosion of carbon monoxide. It doesn’t happen exceptionally often, but periodically … we do experience those incidents,” Ruller said.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odorless and tasteless gas that is toxic and can cause poisoning or death.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include a headache and nausea, Ruller said.

He advised residents to have smoke alarms tested on a regular basis and ensure the alarms are installed correctly. Families should also have a proper home escape plan in case the alarm gets activated.

The last time NOTL fire department received free alarms from Enbridge was in 2015 when the town obtained 102 units.

Besides NOTL, other area municipalities that received free alarms this year include Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Pelham.

“It’s great the town can distribute (alarms) as they see fit to people who possibly aren’t protected or people who can’t afford it. Just to make the town safer,” Henry Timmers, operations supervisor of customer safety at Enbridge, told The Lake Report.

Lord Mayor Betty Disero thanked Enbridge Gas for taking the initiative and including the town as part of the project.

“It shows a great co-operation between Enbridge and the town to assist residents in getting safer,” she said in an interview.

“Most people in Niagara-on-the-Lake and businesses are equipped, they know the rules because it is really important. But there are some that are a little more vulnerable and don’t have the means to get both carbon and smoke detectors, so this is great,” Disero said.

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