The Airdrie Fire Department’s (AFD) home safety campaign, which kicked off April 10, focuses on the community’s rural neighbourhoods this spring.
Throughout the month of April, firefighters will go door-to-door in the Croxford Estates, Buffalo Rub, Yankee Valley Estates and Dry Creek regions, according to Deputy Fire Chief Linda Masson.
Talking home safety with residents, firefighters will be handing out home checklists and offering to do an inspection, replacing dead batteries or entire smoke detectors if needed, she said.
“All of this is free of charge to the residents in that area,” Masson said.
The home safety program has been running in Airdrie since Fire Prevention Week in 2013. As part of a regional fire safety education coalition, the AFD worked alongside others to develop and put home safety into practice, she said.
“It’s one of our key programs,” Masson said.
With spring comes dry, windy weather and Masson said it’s the time of year Airdrie moves into potential grass fire season as the top grass hasn’t greened up yet and is very dry.
With a focus on rural communities this year, she said the AFD amalgamated the home safety program with another educational component known as FireSmart.
Though the home safety program does focus on areas such as the garage and basement, Masson said FireSmart takes into account all the outbuildings and surrounding areas on a person’s property.
The FireSmart program recommends keeping grass trimmed and out of ditches, keeping trees cleaned out and limbed and not storing wood piles under decks. It also covers the components required to run a safe burning barrel.
“It’s just some FireSmart ideas and tips which we are bringing out to our rural residents,” she said.
Firefighters have really enjoyed being a part of the program, she said, adding it has allowed them to interact with residents in non-emergent situations and share knowledge about keeping homes and people safe.
Firefighter platoons will be planning runs through the chosen neighbourhoods over the next month. Operating in the late afternoon or early evening throughout the week and weekend, the AFD plans to make two attempts to contact each resident, she said.
If residents do not fall in the spring campaign coverage area but still want information about the home safety program, she said they are welcome to call the AFD at 403-948-8880.
“We’ll be happy to ensure that they get some information or the help that they need,” Masson said.