Fire Department

Clarence-Rockland Fire Services protects the lives, property and environment of the people who live, work and visit the City of Clarence-Rockland. Service personnel are highly trained to respond to a wide variety of emergency and non-emergency incidents including fires, rescues and medical emergencies. They risk their lives so you don't have to risk yours.

The department is also responsible for fire prevention, public education and emergency preparedness programs. Together, we can minimize the scars fires leave on society.

Practice your home fire escape plan

Simple steps for home fire escape planning include:

  • Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside sleeping areas. It’s the law. For best protection, also install smoke alarms in every bedroom.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan and discuss it with the entire family.
  • Show everyone two ways out of each room, if possible.
  • Check that all exits are unobstructed and easy to use.
  • Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults or anyone else that may need assistance.
  • Choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
  • If caught in smoke, get low and go under the smoke to the nearest safe exit.
  • Call the fire department from outside the home, from a cell phone or neighbor’s home.
  • Once out, stay out. Never re-enter a burning building.

You may have only seconds to safely escape your home. Practice your home fire escape plan and make sure everyone can get out quickly.

Rural Water Delivery

The City of Clarence-Rockland Fire Service is equipped with 2 - 3000 gallon tankers to bring water to the rural areas where fire hydrant service is not available.

In case of major occurrences, where continued rural water shuttle is needed, there is a mutual aid agreement with the other Fire Services of Prescott-Russell and also Ottawa Fire Service.

Rescue and Tiered Response to Medical Calls

Most calls to which firefighters respond involve medical emergencies.

The key link in the chain of survival for both medical and accident victims is early intervention and emergency treatment. All firefighters can perform:

  • cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR),
  • airway management, and
  • advanced-level first aid.

Firefighters may be the first to arrive at the scene. They will attempt to stabilize and monitor patients until the EMS paramedics arrive.

Accidents

Clarence-Rockland Fire Services effectively extricates people who are trapped in a confined space. "Extrication" refers to removing people from:

  • a road accident,
  • a collapsed building,
  • an industrial accident,
  • a vehicle accident,
  • flipped machinery.

Vehicles are now often designed to protect occupants during a collision by collapsing around them. This can trap drivers and passengers. To deal with these problems, firefighters arrive at an accident scene armed with a vast array of hydraulic cutting, prying and pushing tools. Firefighters also have air chisels and air bags for heavy lifting.

In addition to this equipment, trucks called Pumpers have hand-powered tools equivalent to the Ontario Fire Marshal's recommendations. Heavy Rescues, another kind of service vehicle, are also equipped with the portable generators, lights and fans which are very helpful at Clarence-Rockland working fires.

Firefighters' most valuable tool of all, however, is their ingenuity and training. All Clarence-Rockland firefighters are trained in different levels of auto-extrication techniques using the equipment on their vehicles . Those members assigned to rescue vehicles practice their skills and rescue techniques on a regular basis in order to further increase the speed to save accident victims.

Water and Ice Rescue

Clarence-Rockland waterways are normally calm. For four months of the year, however, they are frozen and subsequent winter run-off raises water levels by as much as 6 meters, turning our rivers into raging torrents for two to three weeks.

Our Ice and Water Rescue Team responds to calls anywhere in the municipality.

The rescue team has the latest in immersion-suit technology and uses a sled where swift currents are suspected beneath the ice. The unit also has an 18' boat with a 70 hp motor.

Remember...

Always keep pets and small children off rivers and ponds until you are certain that the ice is thick enough to support their weight.

Never trust ice that has a flowing current running under it. The current thins spots in the ice which may not be detected--until it is too late.

Avoiding Fires

Fire leaves nothing and no one untouched. If you think it is the kind of thing that only happens to others, you should be aware that every year, in Ontario, fire destroys the equivalent of a town of 18 000 habitants, and kills or injures dozens of people who pay a high price for their carelessness. The risk is very real, and fire prevention is first and foremost an individual responsibility. When it comes to fire, you are primarily responsible for your own safety and that of your family.

Act First

Kitchen appliances and smokers’ items cause almost all domestic fires.

  • Install a good fire extinguisher near the stove, and learn how to use it.
  • NEVER leave food to cook on the stove if you are not there to supervise it. This applies in particular for greasy food.
  • Keep smokers’ items out of the reach of children, and NEVER smoke in bed.
  • Install a smoke detector on every floor and in every closed room. Check the detectors once a month, change the batteries once a year (or more often if necessary) and replace the detectors every five years.
  • Store flammable liquids such as paint, solvents and similar materials away from sources of heat, and remember that fuel and propane tanks must be stored outside.
  • Establish an evacuation plan, make sure all members of your family know about it, and practice the evacuation procedure.
  • Organize a meeting point (for example, at a neighbour’s house) where everyone will go if your house has to be evacuated.
  • Draw up an inventory of your property, with photos or videos, and keep it outside the house in a safe place. This will help if ever you need to make an insurance claim.

If a Fire Breaks Out

If the fire is in its early stages when you detect it and you have an extinguisher at hand, discharge the extinguisher, aiming at the base of the flames. However, this will be of no use if the fire has had time to take hold.

  • Isolate the fire by closing off the room in which it broke out.
  • Before entering a room, touch the top of the door to see if there is fire on the other side.
  • Calmly but quickly, usher all family members out of the house.
  • If the fire occurs during the night, wrap yourself in blankets rather than looking for your clothes.
  • Make your way to your prearranged meeting point and call the fire department.

Once the Fire Has Been Extinguished

Do not enter a house that has been damaged by fire. The structure may have been weakened, and you will be risking serious injury.

Tell the municipal authorities where you are, so that they can contact you and also inform you of any short-term disaster assistance measures that may be available. Notify your insurance company and keep the receipts from all purchases made and expenditures incurred to obtain temporary accommodation.

Stop cooking fires before they happen

When oil catches fire on the kitchen stove, people can get badly burned. Deep frying food is a common cause of fires at home.

In most cases, the oil or grease catches fire because it got too HOT, too FAST.

Do YOU know how to put out a cooking fire quickly and safely?

If you follow our safety tips you may never have to put out a cooking fire.

  • Use an electric deep fryer with a temperature control. It is safer than frying food in a sauce pan or frying pan.
  • Read all the instructions to find out how to safely use and store your deep fryer.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly. As soon as the cooking is done, turn off the heat.
  • When you are deep-frying any food, STAY in the kitchen. Do not leave for even a minute.
  • Grease and oil can heat up very fast and catch fire without warning. Be careful!

What to do if grease or oil catches fire

  • To put out the fire, cover the flames with a large metal lid and turn off the heat.
  • Do NOT try to pick up the pan. The flames could spread quickly.
  • If you get burned, put the burn under cool water right away.
  • If your clothes catch fire you must STOP, DROP and ROLL.

Smoke detectors save lives

The first line of defence

In the event of fire, properly installed and maintained smoke detectors can help save lives by giving early warning and allowing sufficient time for occupants to reach safety. All smoke detectors advertised and sold in Canada are regulated under the Hazardous Products Act, and required to meet performance requirements set out in standards developed by the Underwriters' Laboratories of Canada (ULC). It is the responsibility of manufacturers, importers and retailers of smoke detectors to ensure that their units comply with the requirements of the appropriate ULC standards.

The two types of smoke detectors

The ionization type of smoke detector is generally better suited for detecting fast, flaming fires, which consume combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly. Sources of fires may include paper burning in a wastebasket or a grease fire in the kitchen. These type of fires account for 70% of home fires.

The photoelectric type of smoke detector is generally better suited for detecting slow, smouldering fires, which may smoulder for hours before bursting into flame. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding. This type of fires account for 30% of home fires.

General tips on smoke detectors

Make sure the smoke detectors in your home are in good operating condition. For a rapid response to any kind of fire, consumers may want to consider installing both types of smoke detectors, or one which incorporates both technologies, i.e. the ionization type and the photoelectric type.

  • Ensure that smoke detectors are installed as per the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Replace smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old.
  • If smoke detectors are battery operated, replace the battery according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test and clean your smoke detectors according to the manufacturer's instructions..
  • Install smoke detectors on each level of your home, including the basement, especially near or in bedrooms.
  • Develop and practise an escape plan in the event of a house fire. Your escape plan should include a meeting point.

If you have any questions regarding your particular model, contact the manufacturer or importer of your unit. Manufacturers usually maintain a toll-free number for customer inquiries.

Wood Stove / Fireplace Safety Tips

We all enjoy the coziness of a warm fire, but danger can be lurking if precautions are not taken:

Chimneys

All chimneys deteriorate through heavy use, neglect, and age. Some of the many problems include cracked or missing bricks, a blocked flue, missing mortar, a deteriorated crown, corroded flashing, corroded pre-fabricated chimneys, and creosote build-up.

Creosote forms when unburned waste products from wood adhere to the sides of the chimney. The worst danger is that creosote can ignite inside your chimney. A hot and quickly spreading chimney fire can cause damage to your entire house! A disaster such as this can be easily avoided by having your chimney checked annually.

Wood Stoves

Be sure to follow the manufacturers' directions and the local building codes for proper installation, use, and maintenance of your wood-burning stove.

Always start your fire using paper and small pieces of kindling. Never use accelerants to start a fire. Things can get out of hand in a hurry!

Burn only well-seasoned wood. Green or unseasoned wood burns cooler than well-seasoned wood, and can cause creosote to build up at a much faster rate.

Be sure to clean the ashes out of your wood-burning stove on a regular basis. Store the ashes in a covered metal container. Hot coals in discarded ashes can easily ignite grass, leaves, and trees if left uncovered. Keep the ash container at a safe distance away from the house and any other nearby buildings.

Smoke Detectors and Fire Extinguishers

Change the batteries and test each smoke detector unit regularly. If for some reason you have disconnected a smoke detector, hook it back up. This precaution SAVES LIVES! Smoke detectors can be purchased at most hardware, home building, and a variety of retail stores. This is a very inexpensive way to protect you and your family.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy, and make sure that everyone in your household knows how to use it. Keep your fire extinguisher well maintained. If it does not work, it won't do you any good!

Summary of Tips

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified, insured Chimney Sweep.
  • Never start a fire using an accelerant.
  • Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood.
  • Clean out the ashes regularly.
  • Store the ashes in a covered metal container at a safe distance from your house.
  • Be sure your smoke detectors are in proper working order.
  • Obtain a building permit prior to installing your wood stove.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Make sure your fire extinguisher is well maintained and that every household member knows how to use it.

WOOD STOVE Burn it smart

Enjoy the fire, not the smoke

Things to Remember

  • Enjoy the benefits of your wood fire in comfort just by taking a few simple precautions.
  • Don't let a small spark ignite a big blaze
  • The best way to start your fire is with newspaper and dry kindling. Never try to get a blaze roaring with gasoline, kerosene or charcoal starter.
  • Remove ashes from your stove or fireplace regularly and store them in a covered metal container in a safe area away from the side of your house.
  • Keep all household items – drapes, furniture, newspaper and books away from the heat and stray sparks of your woodstove or fireplace.
  • Detection devices saves lives
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, as required by the National Fire Code of Canada, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

A hot new stove

If your open fireplace or wood stove is past its prime, you might consider buying a new model with improved safety and efficiency features. The best choice is a high efficiency stove, fireplace or inserts certified low-emission by the EPA.

Go to the Professionals

Any new stove or fireplace should be professionally installed. Make sure your existing unit is inspected and cleaned at least once a year by a technician certified under the Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) program, or in Quebec, the "Association des professionels du chauffage".

Pet and emergencies

PETS AND EMERGENCIES

Pets are part of our families. During an emergency situation, it is important to know how to keep our animal companions safe. Emergencies can happen at any time, so prepare today. Assemble a pet emergency kit and make arrangements for your pet in the event that you must evacuate.

Pet Emergency Kits

Prepare an emergency kit for your pet. Be sure you have:

  • Food, potable water, bowls, paper towel and a can opener
  • Blanket and a small toy
  • Sturdy leash/harness
  • Cat litter/pan (if required) and plastic bags
  • Carrier for transporting your pet
  • Medications and medical records (including vaccinations)
  • Current photo of your pet in case your pet gets lost
  • Information on feeding schedules, medical or behavioral problems in case you must board your pet
  • Up-to-date ID tag with your phone number and the name/phone number of your veterinarian
  • Copy of license (if required)
  • Muzzle (if required)

Keep this kit in the same spot as your family emergency survival kit for easy retrieval. Pets need supplies, too.

Animals get anxious during emergencies. If possible, keep your pet in a carrying cage with a familiar blanket, so your pet(s) feels as secure as possible. Do not leave your pet alone, with strangers or without a leash at any time. During an emergency, your pet may panic, behave in a distressed manner or even run away and end up lost. Because of the distressed state, your pet may bite someone. REMEMBER… during an emergency, you are still responsible for your pet.

Pets and Evacuations

If safety permits, take your pet with you! Pets should not be left behind during an evacuation, as they may be injured, lost or even killed as a result of the emergency. Remember to take your pet emergency kit with you when

you evacuate.

It is important to note that some evacuation centers may not accept pet, with the exception of service animals (e.g. guide-eye dogs). Please do research ahead of time to ensure that you are not separated from your animal:

Contact hotels and motels outside you immediate area and check their policy on accepting pets during an emergency.

Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they could shelter your pets in an emergency.

Prepare a list of boarding facilities and veterinarians who could shelter animals in an emergency (include a 24 hour number).

Contact local animal shelters and ask if they provide shelter for pets in the event of an emergency. This should only be used as a last resort, as animal shelters have limited resources and will be very busy in an emergency.

Record this information on a sheet and keep it in your pet emergency kit. Review it regularly to ensure the information is accurate.

You may not be at home when an evacuation order is issued. In advance of an emergency, ask a trusted neighbor to evacuate your pet if need be and meet you in a prearranged location. This individual should have a key to your home, know where the pet emergency kit is located, be comfortable with your pet and, more importantly, know where your pet is likely to be.

Returning Home

In the days following an evacuation, do not let your pet go outside unattended. Familiar scents and landmarks may have changed and your pet may get easily confused or lost. If there has been damage to your property, be aware that there could be sharp materials, electrical wires or other hazards in and around your home. Inspect your property carefully before allowing your pet to enter.

Remember, the behavior of your pet may be different after an emergency. Monitor your pet and contact your veterinarian if you are concerned.

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