Sept. 24, 2009, Toronto - A new survey shows Canadian households are failing to make the grade when it comes to following recommended safety precautions that will maximize their own safety during a fire, according to Canada's top fire chief.
The latest results from the Duracell Fire Safety Survey, conducted in partnership with
the Canadian Association of Fire
Chiefs (CAFC), show that fewer than three in five (57%) Canadian homes said
they change smoke alarm batteries at least once every year as recommended by
fire safety experts. The survey also revealed that fewer than one in three
households (31%) surveyed have a fire escape plan in place. Worse, just 6% of
households surveyed said they practice home fire drills at least once a year as
"Taking proper steps to prepare for the worst in the event of a home fire
should be seen as a critical step in saving lives," said Bruce Burrell,
president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs. "We want to get our
message out as strongly as we can to all Canadian households because most are
failing to make the grade when it comes to doing everything they should to
protect their families."
With Oct. 4-10 marking Fire Prevention Week across Canada this year,
Duracell and Canada's fire chiefs are urging Canadians to be better prepared for
a home fire emergency, noting that precautions taken today could save a life
tomorrow. This includes making a point of refreshing smoke alarm batteries at
least once annually; doing so when resetting home clocks each fall or spring is
a convenient way to remember when to make the change.
"Knowing exactly what to do when fire breaks out, and having a working smoke
alarm as the first line of defence, are crucial for home fire safety today and
we would like to see all Canadians taking our message to heart this year to
maximize their own safety," Burrell added. "There's no doubt that changing
batteries is easy to forget, so replacing batteries in home smoke alarms during
Fall Prevention Week or on November 1st when we turn back the clocks is the best
way to ensure that smoke alarms are ready to work in any emergency."
For the month of October, to help Canadians remember the importance of
changing home smoke alarm batteries at least once annually, Duracell has created
a specially marked pack of batteries. Each pack, designed to eliminate confusion
over when to replace batteries, comes with a sticker that attaches to smoke
alarms to indicate when batteries next need to be changed.
Canadians can visit www.duracellfiresafety.com
and request an e-mail reminder to change their batteries on a date of their
choice. The website also has a "tell-a-friend" feature allowing Canadians to share the
important fire safety information with their friends and family – and in doing
so, they can receive coupons for instant savings on the next purchase of
"As always, Duracell takes home fire safety very seriously and once again
this year we are urging Canadians everywhere to do their part to make sure they
are fully prepared in the event of a home fire emergency," said Victoria Maybee,
P&G External Relations. "The precautions taken today could save a life."
Duracell recommends reviewing other home safety practices: make a fire escape
plan and hold a fire drill; test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors; and
instead of using candles during power outages, which can easily tip over and
start a fire, use flashlights, like Duracell DayliteTM Flashlights in order to
help maximize safety in the home.
For the second year, Duracell and the CAFC are hosting a contest that will
name one Junior Fire Chief in each province and territory. Canadian boys and
girls aged 7 to 12 years can enter for the chance win the title and other great
prizes. Details on the contest are available online at www.juniorfirechief.ca.
The eighth annual Duracell Fire Safety Survey was conducted by Angus Reid
Strategies on July 16, 2009 with a randomly selected, representative sample of
1,007 adult Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of
error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The
results of this online survey have been statistically weighted according to the
most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample
representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or
between totals are due to rounding.