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Check your smoke alarms

There really is no excuse, and it simply makes no sense to ignore this small but mighty element of protection.

It’s been a tragic start to 2018 as the city mourns the loss of four citizens, including two young children, a caring mother, and a selfless hero who died attempting to save them.

However, what makes it all the more tragic is the fact that it all could have been prevented.

The Ontario Fire Marshal has since made it public that the home had no working smoke alarms when the blaze erupted in the kitchen. It’s still unclear what caused the fire, or whether anyone will be held accountable for the lack of alarms.

By law, all landlords and homeowners are required to have working smoke alarms on every floor of the house and adjacent to sleeping quarters.

With that noted, it’s not the first time this newspaper has printed those words, and it’s also not the first time this newspaper has written about the attempts of Oshawa Fire Services to spread the word regarding the importance of smoke alarms. The frustration from members of the fire department is palpable.

The scary part is, Oshawa is not alone.

According to data from the office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, in 18 per cent of fires where there was a loss between 2011 and 2015, there were no working smoke alarms.

And it could stretch even further than that as Fire Chief Derrick Clark says, the frustration is felt by chiefs across the country.

The city’s use of social media to spread the word is a solid step in the right direction and has already had the potential to save a life as it has reached nearly 1 million people in just over a week since its launch. Hopefully, the message will continue to spread.

If you have the alarms, go check them now. If you don’t have the alarm, go out and buy one, and if you can’t afford one there are programs in place to help you. Those on Ontario Works Assistance are able to receive a one-time payment in order to help them purchase both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

So, with all that said, there really is no excuse.

Check those smoke alarms, it could save your family.