1. How does the Kingsville Fire Department operate and what services does it provide? 2. What equipment does the fire department operate? 3. What happens when I call “911”? 4. Are smoke alarms mandatory in my home? 5. How often should I check my smoke alarms and how should I maintain them? 6. What fire safety measures should I take to protect my family? 7. Should we install a carbon monoxide detector in our home? 8. What should we do if our carbon monoxide alarm sounds? 9. What causes most fires in Kingsville? 10. Should we install a portable fire extinguisher? 11. Can I have an open air fire in my backyard? 12. How can I become a volunteer firefighter?
1. How does the Kingsville Fire Department operate and what services does it provide?
The Kingsville Fire Department provides fire and rescue services to the residents of the Town of Kingsville. There are two fire stations-one on Division Road and the other in the Village of Cottam. The department is served by a full time fire chief, a full time fire prevention officer, a part time office support person and fifty four part time firefighters. The services provided, in addition to response to fire and rescue emergencies, are fire prevention inspections and code compliance initiatives and public fire safety education. The department operates under the direction of municipal council and is established and regulated by municipal by-law.
2. What equipment does the fire department operate?
The current equipment roster of the department is as follows. The south station on Division Road operates two pumpers, one rescue truck, one aerial platform truck, one brush truck and one rescue boat. The north station operates two pumper-tankers and one rescue unit. In addition the fire chief is equipped with a 4 X 4 sport utility vehicle and the fire prevention officer uses a pickup truck.
3. What happens when I call “911”?
Calls utilizing “911” are routed to a central receiving centre which will then direct them to the appropriate dispatch centre. If, for example, you want to report a fire and do so by dialing “911” an operator will answer and ask whether you want “police, ambulance or fire”. You would respond “fire” and the operator would tell you to stay on the line. The call will then be instantaneously routed to the Kingsville Fire Department dispatch centre (provided by LaSalle Police Service) where the required information will be obtained and the department dispatched. An important feature of “911” is that your address, name and phone number are automatically routed with your call. Should you be calling to report a fire in your residence it is important to remember to make the call from a neighbour’s home or on your cell phone. Do not remain inside a burning building to call for help!
4. Are smoke alarms mandatory in my home?
The Ontario Fire Code mandates the installation of smoke alarms between sleeping areas and the remainder of your residence. As of March 1, 2006 smoke alarms will be required to be installed on every level of a home. Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling whenever possible and not too close to walls or corners. More on Smoke Alarms.
5. How often should I check my smoke alarms and how should I maintain them?
Smoke alarms should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. They should be gently vacuumed every six months. If your smoke alarms are battery operated, you should change the batteries when the clocks are moved ahead in the spring and back in the fall. You also need to remember that smoke alarms don’t last forever. Smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years.
6. What fire safety measures should I take to protect my family?
The most important factors to protect your family are operating smoke alarms and a family escape plan. Research has shown that many residences are equipped with smoke alarms, but many have dead batteries. Smoke is what kills most people in fires and without an operating battery your smoke alarm will not warn you of it. The other important task is to create a family escape plan which includes two exits from each room of your residence and a family meeting place. Once you make your plan, practice it as a family. Should an emergency occur, do not go back in to your residence for any reason. Leave a responsible person to keep everyone at the meeting place and make the call for help from a neighbour’s residence.
7. Should we install a carbon monoxide detector in our home?
Carbon monoxide is colourless, odourless and tasteless. It comes from incomplete combustion of fuel fired appliances or vehicles. You cannot detect carbon monoxide using your senses, so a carbon monoxide detector is an excellent idea. You should place it according to manufacturer’s instructions and in a location where you can readily hear it. You can lessen the chance of CO in your home by having fuel fired appliances serviced annually by a qualified technician, not allowing vehicles or engines of any kind to warm up in a garage (pull them outside once you start them), not using barbecues in garages or indoors, and having chimneys and flues checked regularly. It is also a good idea to open the windows and change the air in the house every so often, even in the winter. You should also never use fuel fired appliances in tents, trailers, motor homes and any other enclosed space.
8. What should we do if our carbon monoxide alarm sounds?
- Open windows to ventilate and have everyone move outside. - Call “911” for assistance. - Be aware of symptoms of CO poisoning (headache, dizziness, weariness, nausea, vomiting) and report these, if present, when you call. - Once it is determined that it is safe to re-enter your residence, have all fuel fire appliances checked by a qualified technician.
9. What causes most fires in Kingsville?
Our research has shown that the current most common place where fires start is in the kitchen. You should always keep a large lid near the stove when you are cooking. Simply sliding the lid on a burning pot and then turning off the burner should extinguish the fire. Never try to move a burning or hot pot and never use water on a burning pot. It will spread the fire! Never leave cooking unattended especially if you are using oil or high temperatures. You should also wear tight fitting clothing while cooking. It is recommended that you utilize only a thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer for deep fat frying. Oil heated in a pot on the stove can be easily ignited. Many night time fires result from persons under the influence of alcohol attempting to cook. Remember that drinking responsibly includes keeping your family safe from fire.
10. Should we install a portable fire extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers can be a useful first aid fire appliance. The main problem that occurs is that people underestimate the power of the fire and overestimate the capability of the extinguisher. Should you decide to purchase an extinguisher, we would recommend a multi-purpose dry chemical. Install the extinguisher near an exit. This will enable you to always have an exit at your back while you attempt to extinguish the fire. Make sure everyone is out of the house and always be sure to call the fire department even if you think the fire is small and easily controllable. We would rather respond to a fire which you have extinguished than have you wait several minutes before calling for help once you have found you cannot extinguish the fire.
11. Can I have an open air fire in my backyard?
Open air burning is prohibited by municipal bylaw with the exception that a small, confined, adult-supervised fire may be used to cook food provided it does not affect neighbouring properties. The other exception is that an open fire may be ignited on premises zoned agricultural for the purposes of burning agricultural products such as brush, ditch banks and fence rows. The fire must be supervised at all times and not affect neighbouring properties. As well, the fire department dispatch centre must be notified two hours prior to any agricultural burn by calling 733-2313.
12. How can I become a volunteer firefighter?
The fire department has a recruitment information package available outlining our hiring procedures. Applications are kept on file for a period of one year. Once an opening occurs, the hiring process consists of an oral interview, a qualifications score and a physical testing score. Click here to download the Recruitment Information Package and Kingsville Fire Department Application or call our office at 733-2314 for more information.