Fire Safety Tips for Seniors

Senior FireThis month, the Office of the Fire Commissioner is focused on fire safety for seniors.

Adults over age 65 are at the highest risk of being killed or injured in a fire. Here are some important fire safety tips for seniors and Albertans of all ages, quoted from Office of the Fire Commissioner website:

   1. If you smoke, smoke outside.

  • Provide smokers with large, deep ashtrays. Stub it Right, Don’t Ignite
  • If you smoke on your balcony, be sure to install a safe, fire-proof ashtray.
  • Never extinguish smoking materials in plant pots.
  • Wet cigarette butts and ashes before throwing them out or bury them in sand.
  • Never smoke in bed.

   2. If you use medical oxygen, don’t smoke.

  • Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is used.
  • Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs inside and outside the home.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) from a heat source, open flames, or electrical devices.
  • Keep oil and grease, body oil and hand lotion, away from where oxygen is in use.

   3. Be kitchen wise.

  • Wear tight – fitting or short sleeves when cooking.
  • Use oven mitts to handle hot pans.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • If a pan of food catches fire, slide a lid over it and turn off the burner.
  • Don’t cook if you are drowsy from alcohol or medication.

   4. Give space heaters space.

  • Keep them at least three feet (one meter) away from anything that can burn – including you.
  • Shut off and unplug heaters when you leave your home, or go to bed.

   5. Stop, drop, and roll.

  • If your clothes catch on fire: stop (don’t run), drop gently to the ground, cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth to put out the fire.
  • If you cannot do that, smother the flames with a towel or blanket.
  • Use cool water for 3 to 5 minutes to cool the burn. Get medical help right away.

   6. Smoke alarms save lives.

  • Have working smoke alarms installed outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
  • Have someone test your smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in your home can hear your smoke alarms, especially family members with reduced hearing.

   7. Plan and practice your escape from fire and smoke.

  • If possible know two ways out of every room in your home.
  • Make sure windows and doors open easily.
  • In a fire, get out and stay out.

   8. Know your local emergency number.

  • It may be 9-1-1 or the fire department’s phone number.
  • Have a telephone in your bedroom and post the local emergency number nearby in case you are trapped by smoke or fire.
  • Once you’ve escaped a fire, call the fire department from a neighbour’s phone or a cellular phone.

Have a safe and fire-free August to residents of all ages!

Big Rig Rescue Training in Leduc County

From June 24 to 26, Leduc County Fire Services co-hosted around 80 firefighters from across western Canada for the 2015 Big Rig Hands On Training in Nisku, Alberta. Wabasca Fire sent four of our firefighters to train in this very unique, heavy vehicle extrication program.

A CTV Edmonton news clip, featuring Wabasca firefighters (“WFD” red coveralls), can be viewed here!

From the Leduc County news release:

“This one-of-a-kind training is in high demand because, unlike other training, it exposes first responders to new techniques, tools and technologies specific to big rig rescue situations,” says Darrell Fleming, fire chief and event coordinator/instructor. “The hope is that participants take this invaluable training back to their communities, where they can use it to save even more lives.”

Over the course of the training, firefighters actively participated in four workshops with different big rig rescue scenarios, such as responding to under runs – which involve one vehicle passing beneath another – rollovers and complicated stabilization and extrication techniques.

A very big thanks to Leduc County Fire Services and Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association for the training opportunity!

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BBQ & Fire Pit Safety Tips


It’s BBQ and fire pit season! The below safe grilling and fire use tips are from the Office of the Fire Commissioner website. A video on how to check for grill gas leaks can also be found on this site.

Safety Tips

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet or 1 metre away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Charcoal BBQ

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Propane BBQ

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose.
    • A propane leak will release bubbles.
    • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or by soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

Fire-pits and Outdoor Burning

  • Get a permit from your local municipality before starting any open-air, recreational, outdoor cooking fire, or agricultural burning. It’s important to remember, you might not be permitted to do outdoor burning in some municipalities and during some seasons.
  • Follow the rules, as outlined by your permit.
  • Closely supervise all outdoor fires. Make sure the fire is out before leaving.
  • Supervise children around any fire outdoors, including campfires, fire-pits, chimneys, and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Permitted open fires, such as bonfires or trash fires, need to be at least 50 feet (15 meters) from anything that can burn.
  • Permitted recreational fires such as campfires, need to be at least 25 feet (8 meters) away from anything can burn.
  • Avoid burning on windy, dry days. When conditions are windy or dry, it is easy for open burning to spread out of control.
  • Where outdoor burning is allowed, never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids.
  • When burning, have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire.