For immediate release
October 9, 2019

Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MBManitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is encouraging First Nations citizens to ensure they have fire safety plans in place. Fire Prevention Week runs from October 6 to 12, 2019.

The focus of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign is ensuring everyone has a fire safety plan and practices their escape. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape, Plan and Practice Your Escape.” The theme encourages people to plan and practice their escape plan.

“I want to encourage all families and individuals in Northern Manitoba to think about how they would exit their home if they were to encounter a fire,” stated Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “It doesn’t take long to develop a plan and having a clear strategy in place could save lives.”

A plush eagle

Meet Mikisew Max, MKO’s fire safety mascot

Develop an escape plan and know what to do when a smoke alarm goes off. Ideas to help with developing your escape plan include:

  • Draw a map of your home and mark two exits from each room
  • Practice your fire drill twice a year including one at night
  • Practice different ways to get out of the house
  • Teach children to escape on their own in case an adult cannot help them
  • Make sure everyone in the house knows how to call 911 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or the neighbour’s phone
  • Close doors as people leave, as it helps slow the spread of smoke and fire
  • Once people are outside, stay outside and never go back into a burning building

Other safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and in every bedroom
  • Remove smoke alarms from the wall or ceiling, check for the manufacture date, and replace any that are 10 years old or older
  • Test alarms monthly
  • Ensure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands they should get outside immediately if they hear it
  • Agree on a family meeting place
  • Stay outside and call the fire department

“At our recent MKO Fire Forum, we learned that climate change means we are now experiencing longer wildfire seasons,” said Grand Chief Settee. “Wildfires in Manitoba often impact and sometimes displace First Nations so I encourage all of our citizens to take steps to mitigate the harm that can be caused by wildfire. Look around your home and check to see if you have a lot of debris sitting under your deck or perhaps dead trees and brush close to the house. Try to clear away any flammable materials that could easily catch fire as part of a clean-up during the Fall season.”