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Fire departments let the numbers tell the story on fire’s impact in local communities

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By Lisa Braxton

Firefighters across Durham, Ontario, are launching a three-week campaign on Monday to educate residents about fire safety using an approach they haven’t tried before.

“You have a better chance of having a fire in your home than winning the lottery, but people are buying lottery tickets and not installing smoke alarms,” Pickerington Fire Inspector Julie Ineson is quoted as saying in Durham Region Daily.

Officials say that residents underestimate the frequency and causes of fire. They tend to hear about large loss, but are unaware of smaller events and near misses. Officials hope local fire statistics will get their attention.

As part of “Get Real Durham” select households will receive an automated telephone message from the local fire chief, who will identify fire statistics and what residents can do to protect their family from fire. Firefighters will go door-to-door educating residents about the reality of fire and install smoke alarms where needed.

NFPA’s community toolkits–a resource for fire service members conducting education campaigns–and safety tips sheets include statistics on injury, and loss of life and property from fire.

Full reports and statistics are available from NFPA´s Fire Analysis and Research division.

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