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Niagara Falls
Saturday, December 2, 2023
Town’s fire alarm safety program proving popular
Dylan Skubel, left, fire inspector and risk reduction program administrator for NOTL FIre & Emergency Services, and fire prevention officer Karley McKeigan. RICHARD HUTTON

A new fire prevention program being offered by Niagara-on-the-Lake Fire & Emergency Services has already drawn interest from the community, the administrator of the department’s risk reduction program says.

Administrator Dylan Skubel said the department had 19 people sign up since the program started on Nov. 1.

“We’ve been talking to these people and they are definitely appreciative of the program,” he said. “They have lots of questions.”

As a part of what is called the Alarm Assistance Program, adults over the age of 65 can now register with the department for the free service.

It will allow them and anyone with a disability or limited mobility to have fire officials visit their home to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are correctly installed and functioning as required.

The purpose of the program is simple, said Karley McKeigan, a fire prevention officer with the department.

“Essentially it is designed for people to reach out and ask for assistance for fire prevention in their homes,” she said.

The program is part of a provincewide strategy, she said – demonstrated most recently via the Saved by the Beep smoke alarm test day last month – to raise awareness of the importance of having the devices in working order.

“This is Niagara-on-the-Lake’s way of getting in on that,” she said.

By law, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed on each floor of a home and outside of each bedroom.

Additionally, batteries should be replaced annually, including back-up batteries for hardwired devices. 

Residents who register for the program will receive an annual phone call about any help needed to test, check or replace smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms or batteries.

Participants can opt out or request no further follow-up at any point.

“The well-being of our residents is a top priority and initiatives like these demonstrate our commitment to public safety,” said Lord Mayor Gary Zalepa.

“I know that this program will be well-received and appreciated by our community members.”

In addition to performing tests on the devices, firefighters also will confirm alarms are installed in the right spot, conduct a battery check and replace them as necessary.

Alarms will also be installed, relocated or replaced as necessary and residents will also be provided with fire safety information.

Residents aged 65 and over and anyone with a disability or limited mobility wishing to enrol in the program should call 905-468-3266, email firedepartment@notl.com, or fill out the online form at notl.com.

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