By Mark Squibb
October 13, 2023 Edition
Paradise Mayor Dan Bobbett declared October 8 through to the 14 as Fire Prevention Week in the Town of Paradise.
“I urge all the people of Paradise to heed the important safety messages of Fire Prevention Week 2023, and to support the many public safety activities and efforts of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department Fire and Emergency Services,” said Bobbett. “I call upon the people of Paradise to participate in fire prevention activities at home, work and school, and to take the steps needed to make their homes and families safe from the leading causes of home fires, which include cooking, heating, and electrical.”
This year’s theme is ‘Cooking Safety Starts With You, Pay Attention to Fire Prevention,’ as cooking fires remain the leading cause of home fires.
Fire Prevention Officer Kara Pardy and Fire Inspecter Officer Andrea Perry from the St. John’s Regional Fire Department joined council in chambers for the proclamation.
Officer Pardy outlined a number of activities to mark Fire Prevention week, including open houses at Paradise, Mount Pearl, and the Blackmarsh Road fire stations on Saturday, October 7.
“You can drop by, have a look at some of the equipment, we’ll have some things there for kids, and some things for adults as well,” said Pardy. “We’re also going to have an information booth set up at the Avalon Mall from Tuesday, because that morning is Thanksgiving Day, til Saturday.”
The department will also be hosting its annual poster contest open to school aged children in grades 4 through 6. The winner of that contest will be named Fire Chief for a day, and will get to spend a day with firefighters at the department.
Pardy said the winner is selected based entirely on their poster, and the winner’s name, age, gender, or even school isn’t known until after the winning poster has been selected.
The department will also be doing fire drills in schools for fire prevention week.
Councillor Glen Carew asked if there are still many instances of open fat fires, as more people cook using air fryers now.
Pardy said the department responds to many cooking fires, but she didn’t have a breakdown of those stats on hand.
“But even potatoes cooking in a pot can catch on fire if they boil dry,” said Pardy, who added that most cooking fires occur when people are not paying attention.