Starting on May 6th and 7th the Russell Fire Department will be conducting our annual door to door inspection and survey campaign. The goal is to visit and inspect 500 homes within the village. Our presence will be obvious as the department will be going out en-masse with all of the fire trucks, so when we hit your area you won’t miss us. The firefighters will ask to inspect your home and also have a few questions about your fire safety awareness and level of preparedness. These statistics help us determine what areas of concern need addressing within our community in subsequent years. Another benefit of these door to door visits is that we can better know the public we serve and can answer questions or offer help to people who might be uncertain if they are adequately protecting themselves. Overall we feel that these door to door visits are a benefit to both us the firefighters and you the public.
One important change to the department’s policy this year affects enforcement, in years past when we visited a home that did not have one working smoke alarm we simply gave the resident a new alarm to install and informed them that we would return to re-inspect. Upon re-inspection they should then comply by having the coverage required by the law. Should we visit a home without one working smoke alarm this year, we will still give the resident a new alarm, but along with the alarm a $235.00 fine will be issued. We will also re-inspect within 48 hrs to ensure that the home then complies with the fire code. The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has asked all departments to take a tougher stance on gross infringements of the fire code, we feel that this stance is the proper way to deal with situations of such negligence. The management of the Russell Fire Department did not take this policy decision lightly, however we had to keep in mind that our primary concern is for the safety of the residents of Russell and we have a responsibility to act and develop policies that best serve and protect our residents.
The no nonsense stance that the Fire Marshal’s Office is taking is the result of ongoing fire related deaths in