Oct. 29, 2008, Toronto - If you get a voice mail this week from a Fire Chief named Bruce Burrell, listen to it.
Chief Burrell, brand new in his role as President of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs has made a 60-second voice cast to 500,000 Canadian homes, one of the first things on his to-do list.
The message is a move to cut through public complacency when it comes to the installation, maintenance and replacement of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
"We need to inspire individual responsibility for checking smoke and CO alarms the weekend of Nov. 2, when clocks are moved back one hour, ultimately saving lives in the process," says Burrell, who is the fire chief in Calgary.
"We're asking people to take the “Time To Care' to help protect their family from fire tragedy," says Burrell. "It's a noble use of technology invented by a Canadian company, Voicelogic, a way to be heard right in people's homes where habits need to change," he adds.
Under Burrell's leadership, the CAFC's program called Time To Care targets householders with the voice cast reminders as well as an e-mail reminder campaign, public service announcements, two events on Facebook and a heartfelt video people can pass along to friends and family. Thousands of businesses are also being asked to issue e-mails and safety tips to their employees as part of a corporate wellness outreach. The e-mail reminder is available at www.safeathome.ca/timetocare.
The CAFC is advising the public that changing batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year is vital, but just the first step in ensuring families are safe at home. This fall, as Canadians set their clocks back, Burrell is urging families to take a five-step approach to review smoke and carbon monoxide protection systems that includes battery replacement, correct installation and alarm replacement after 10 years for smoke alarms and seven years for CO alarms.
According to the CAFC, practicing your home escape plan and making certain that all your smoke alarms are in working order reduces by one-half your chances of dying in a fire.