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Smoke-alarm pioneer Rich Morris remembered

May 7, 2012, Toronto - Smoke-alarm pioneer Richard Morris is being remembered by the Canadian fire service as a champion of life safety and a trailblazer who brought smoke alarms to Canada. Morris died Thursday at North York General Hospital at the age of 82.

May 7, 2012 
By Laura King

Fire-service leaders said over the weekend at the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs Association conference that they remembered Morris, who was actively involved in the NFPA, bringing briefcase-sized smoke alarms to Ontario.


Sean Tracey, the NFPA’s Canadian director, said Morris was a leading fire-safety figure in Canada. He was involved with the Fire Marshal’s Public Safety Council and the Canadian Fire Alarm Association.

“He was a mentor for many fire safety professionals and a true prince of a gentleman,” Tracey said.

Morris served as chair of the Massachusetts-based NFPA and was the first non-American to hold that post.

Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs president Tim Beckett said Morris's dedication and passion for fire safety has saved countless lives.

"The OAFC is deeply saddened by the passing of Rich Morris," Beckett said. "Rich was a pioneer of fire safety in Canada and around the world. The lives of many have been saved thanks to his dedication to fire and life safety. We have lost a great champion."

Morris’s funeral is at noon today at St. Gabriel's Passionist Parish in Toronto. Donations may be made to Meagan’s Walk: Creating a Circle of Hope (

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