To the Port Colborne community,
As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic across Niagara, I wanted to update you about how your Fire Department is responding with additional changes to our operations, and to remind you about fire safety tips for you and your family.
Residents are asked to refrain from having fires during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City’s Burning Bylaw does not allow for open burning unless permission has been given, or for the purposes of cooking food. At this time, in all cases, if a complaint is received the fire must be extinguished.
Permission will not be given to have an open fire during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am requesting that residents do not have a fire, even to cook food, in an effort to reduce unnecessary calls that will involve the fire department coming to your home because of a complaint of a fire getting out of hand.
Your Fire Department is made up of both career firefighters and volunteer firefighters, and any calls, including calls for open burning, add unnecessary risk to our firefighters and their families.
Fire Safety Reminders
Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to make fire safety a top-priority in your home. Fire safety is a key, especially during times like these, to your family’s overall safety.
- Children are at home and inside more now than ever before. They will be curious. We may let our guard down and that is when things happen. Here are a few tips to keep your children safe:
o Eliminate risk wherever possible, including the aforementioned safe use of candles and storage of matches and lighters.
o Seal laundry supplies and store in a safe location.
o Cupboards that are full of chemicals and cleaners are always easy places for children to access and are very dangerous. Move these items to a safe location or lock cupboard doors.
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and maintained by testing them regularly and checking the manufacturer’s date.
- Plan your escape, which includes two ways out, and practice the evacuation with the people in your home.
- Use caution around the stove and never leave it unattended while cooking.
- Candles are a safety hazard. Use them cautiously and make sure they are out when you are not in the immediate area.
- Store matches and lighters safely and out of the reach of children.
- Don't be careless when smoking or discarding cigarettes.
Your life and the life of your family members count on you being vigilant and leading a fire-safe life. Please help us in keeping our community a fire-safe community. We also ask that you continue to stay home and if you have to go out for essential services to practice physical distancing to stay healthy and safe. We are all in this together, Port Colborne. Support each other through kindness and caring about those that your actions may affect.
Thomas B. Cartwright
Port Colborne Fire & Emergency Services