October 11, 2017 7:40 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 7:46 pm

Hamilton Fire Department stats show jump in deadly residential fires

A photoelectric smoke detector on the right, and an ionization smoke detector on the left.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot
The Hamilton Fire Department is stressing the importance of working smoke alarms following a jump in the number of deadly structure fires in the city.
Data posted to the city’s new online portal, Citizen Dashboard, shows the service has responded to more than 23,000 incidents in Hamilton so far this year, including 140 residential structure fires.
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It’s a point of concern according to Fire Chief David Cunliffe.
 “We’ve had some fatalities,” he said. “Last year we had eleven, which was a significant increase, actually the highest in thirty years and this year, so far, year to date, unfortunately, we’ve suffered six fire fatalities.”
Cunliffe says the top causal factors continue to be careless smoking and unattended cooking.
“These types of fires are completely preventable, and it’s behaviour, we need people to be mindful of what it is they’re doing,” he said. “On top of that, when you start to look at the stats, relative to the lack of working smoking alarms in these residences where we’re having the fires in.”

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As part of fire prevention week, the Fire Chief is reminding residents to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and to create an evacuation plan, complete with meeting place.
Members of the Hamilton Fire Department have visited more than 10,000 homes since May to get the message across that an alarm could give you the time needed to get out of a blaze safely.
The department’s efforts also involved the installation of 1,200 smoke alarms and switching in 250 new batteries.

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