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Fire Marshal July 3, 2008 News Release

On June 25th we published an article concerning fire safety and camping trailers. The basis of our article was for people to give the same consideration to fire safety in the trailer as they would in their own home. Unfortunately on June 30th a fatal fire occurred in Essex, Ontario in which three people lost their lives, the fire was in a trailer and there was not a working smoke alarm present within the trailer. According to the Office of the Fire Marshal; camping trailers are subject to the same laws as permanent residences. This tragedy prompted the Fire Marshals Office to release the following statement; 


TORONTO (July 3, 2008) - On June 30, a 34-year-old man and two young children died in a fire in a trailer park in Essex, Ontario. It has been confirmed by Office of the Fire Marshal investigators that no working smoke alarms were found in the trailer.

As a result of this tragic fatal fire, the Fire Marshal of Ontario is urging everyone to have a working smoke alarm in their trailer home, motor home or other recreational vehicle.

“The Ontario Fire Code requires every ‘dwelling unit’ in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas,” explained Pat Burke, Fire Marshal of Ontario. “What many people may not know is that the term ‘dwelling unit’ includes seasonal homes such as park model trailers, cabins and cottages and may include trailer homes, motor homes and other recreational vehicles”.

While many new trailer and RV models may already meet a construction standard requiring working smoke alarms, older models may not be equipped with any or they may not have been properly maintained. It is a good practice to install working smoke alarms in any recreational vehicle, trailer and boat with sleeping quarters. Test the alarms monthly and after any absence of more than a few days. Replace any smoke alarms that may be more than 10 years old.

“Smoke alarms can alert you and give you and your family the precious time needed to safely escape a fire,” said Burke. “Install smoke alarms in any structure where people may be sleeping or living.”

Failure to comply with the applicable Fire Code smoke alarm requirements can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $100,000.

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