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 contest on escape planning;
  • 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!

2021 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, thanks in part to social media coverage of Fire Prevention Week, grade 2 teacher, Ms. Jody Anne McDonald, of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School noticed the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) 2020 Fire Prevention Poster Contest - Show Will Fightfire & Friends How You Practice Fire Safety in Your Home, School or Community and decided to incorporate it into their lesson plans and teach about fire safety.  Needless to say, the students were thrilled at the opportunity. For having her poster chosen, Kali won a fire safety gift pack, $500 cash, and a special prize from the Petawawa Fire department.
Our 2021 contest focuses on how families stay safe in their home, by ensuring they have two ways out of every room during an emergency.  Children first draw two ways out of every room in our house plan, and then they draw their home, and show Will Fightfire and Fional Firesafety how they would escape their own home in an emergency. Kids have their parent or guardian complete the contact form, and send to Will Fightfire and Fiona Firesafety by mailing or emailing your form. 
The contest will be run throughout October/November (which hosts Fire Prevention and Carbon Monoxide Awareness weeks), with all entries submitted back to the OAFC office by December 3, 2021. 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. 

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 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 2021 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.