OAFC partners with First Alert Canada, Lowe’s & RONA for the month of October to promote fire prevention across Ontario

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) is pleased to announce that we are once again continuing our partnership with First Alert Canada Lowe’s and RONA to promote fire prevention and fire safety in communities throughout Ontario.  This year, it is more important than ever for the fire sector to have a strong showing during October and November, which hosts Fire Prevention Week, and Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.  Since the start of the year and COVID-19 pandemic lock-downs, home fires have been increasing - mostly due to careless cooking and smoking.  It is up to us to remind Ontarians about the importance of fire safety, fire precautions, and of course, fire prevention. 

Fire deaths have remained stagnant across Ontario. We need to relentlessly pursue fire safety so that we not only increase public interest in fire prevention, but also engage the public in taking action to prevent fires and to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and reduce the amount of lives lost due to fires.

By hosting public education and fire safety events at Lowe’s or RONAstores in communities across Ontario, our goal is to show people how simple, yet important, fire prevention and fire safety can be. With the help of Lowe’s and RONA*, one of the world's largest home improvement retailers, and First Alert Canada, Canada’s most trusted brand in home safety, we are confident that this goal can be achieved, ultimately helping to influence a safer Ontario.

About the Lowes/RONA* events

Fire departments are invited to host fire prevention and fire safety information sessions at a Lowe’s or RONAstore in their community. The OAFC and our partners have agreed to host events until the end of the year, rather than restrict it to Fire Prevention Week/Month and CO Awareness Week/Month, and you can choose to host your event indoors, or outdoors.

Some family-friendly events your department can offer could include:
 
  • Firefighters leading an information session on carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, including 10-year sealed battery alarms;
  • Fire escape planning;
  • Kids fire safety poster contest;
  • Photo ops with kids;
  • Fire truck tours, and more.
Until we see a significant reduction in fire deaths and non-working smoke and CO alarms in homes, our theme continues to be "Only Working Smoke and CO Alarms Save Lives" and Escape Plans: Know Your Way Out.”  When a fire breaks out, there’s no time to waste. This is why it's critically important to create an escape route for you, and your family, and to practice it at least twice a year.  Having working smoke and CO alarms is vital to early detection, ensuring that families have time to escape!
 
Fire departments are encouraged to get creative to make the events as meaningful and memorable as possible!
 

First Alert Canada, Lowe’s and RONAhave purchased public education/fire prevention kits. If you host an event, you will receive supplies from these kits to distribute at your event. The giveaways may include: Will Fightfire and Friends activity books, crayons and red fire helmets, as well as adult/senior activity books.  Each kit will also include contest information, and important smoke/co alarm brochures.  Additionally, some Lowe’s and RONA*stores will provide other giveaways and promotional materials while taking take care of all the setup at the store!
 

2020 Fire Prevention Month Contest - Will Fightfire & Fiona Firesafety Want You to Share Your Home Fire Safety By Participating in our Home Fire Safety Poster Contest!

Last year, all Will Fightfire and Friends products purchased by Ontario fire departments for fire prevention month in October, and CO Awareness Week, or provided through the Lowe's-First Alert Canada public education/fire prevention store events, received contest entry forms to distribute during their fire prevention community events!  Kids (under the age of twelve), submitted their home fire escape plans, and submitted the form back to the fire department. The fire department then submitted all entries to the OAFC. Chosen out of hundreds of entries received by the OAFC, and eight-year old Jaylyn of Peterborough Ontario who was selected out of hundreds of entries received from children and youth all across Ontario.
 
For having her escape plan chosen, Jaylyn won a fire safety gift pack, $500 cash, and a special prize from the City of Peterborough Fire Services
 
This year, we will be providing contest forms on how kids are being fire safe in their homes, by participating in our Home Fire Safety Poster Contest The contest will be run from October 1 to December 11, 2020. The winner will receive a special prize package, including: a fire safety gift pack, a $500 cash prize, and a customized offer from participating the local fire departments – which could include a fire station tour, a ride in a fire truck, and/or being a fire chief for a day. More information on this year's contest to come.
 

How to get involved

If there is a Lowe’s or RONA* store in a community that your fire department serves, you may be eligible to host one of these public education events. Departments who host an event will receive: 
 
  • Child/adult giveaways, such as activity books, crayons, red fire helmets, brochures etc.;
  • A comprehensive press kit for distribution to local media to ensure media coverage of events, including: a media advisory, news release, backgrounder(s), and key messages;
  • A supply of free 10-year sealed battery smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to give away; and
  • The OAFC will handle all logistics and help market your event.
To host an event at your local Lowe’s or RONA store, please contact Kris Newton, OAFC Events and Trade Show Manager by phone at 416-315-9081, or by email at kris.newton@oafc.on.ca 
 
*Please note that only certain RONA locations are participating in the 2020 program.
 
For more information on the Lowe’s, First Alert, and RONAeducation events, or support in setting up other local sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michelle O’Hara, Executive Director, by email to michelle.ohara@oafc.on.ca 
 
We look forward to strengthening this partnership by helping fire departments across the province host engaging and educational fire prevention information sessions in their local communities.