Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 9:07 am
By Len Garis
This program, known as HomeSafe, has involved on-duty firefighters going door-to-door in the city’s highest fire risk neighbourhoods, distributing fire prevention information, checking for working smoke alarms and installing free smoke alarms as required.
In its first two years, this program has reduced the annual rate of residential fires in the highest-risk homes in the city by almost two-thirds, and has prevented an estimated $1.26 million in fire losses. In addition, when fires did occur after the home visits, smoke alarms activated more frequently and fires were smaller and did less damage.
HomeSafe was the result of a study of international best practices in fire safety home visits, and the implementation of selected elements of those best practices in Surrey.
From the early 1990s, the effectiveness of public fire education has been illustrated. For example, Proving Fire Education Works, written by Philip Schaenman, Charles Jennings and colleagues from the TriData Corporation in 1990, analyzed 77 public-education strategies including school-based programs, comprehensive community-wide programs, programs targeting a specific cause of fire or audience, juvenile fire-setter programs, smoke-detector programs, and national strategies. All 77 initiatives demonstrated some form of positive impact.
More recently, a 2009 TriData review of best practices in residential fire prevention highlighted the impact of home visitation programs in the United Kingdom that targeted fire-safety inspections and risk reduction, and emphasized the importance of working smoke alarms.
Read the full article here.