S.A.F.E. Family Program launches: Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service partners to provide smoke alarms

Winnipeg – Today the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) launched the S.A.F.E. Family (Smoke Alarm for Every Family) Program, which installs smoke alarms in owner-occupied households not already equipped with a working smoke alarm. 

“All Winnipeggers should feel safe in their homes,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “We know that not all Winnipeggers are able to purchase or install a smoke alarm. This program allows our firefighters to assist families by ensuring they are protected. This initiative will make it easier to keep your family safe and we are very grateful to our partners for allowing us to offer this program to our city.”

“A working smoke alarm is a basic, fundamental requirement for home fire safety,” said Chief John Lane, WFPS. “We are most vulnerable to fire when we sleep, and a working smoke alarm provides the protection required to alert us to - fire. What we are finding is that homes built before 1980 when building codes started requiring new homes to have a hard wired smoke alarm, are often still without this simple precaution.”

The S.A.F.E. Family Program, sponsored by Red River Mutual Insurance and the Firefighters’ Burn Fund of Manitoba, will be rolled out in phases, community by community, across Winnipeg over the next two years. The program will roll out first in the Lord Selkirk and West Kildonan area of the city where statistics show WFPS crews attended to 563 fires in 2018. The program will then be offered in the City Centre, East Kildonan/Transcona, Riel and Assiniboia areas over the next two years. 

“The S.A.F.E. Family Program extends far beyond regulations and requirements. At its core, it’s about protecting our families and neighbours.” said Brian Esau, President and CEO, Red River Mutual. “We hope that the launch of this program will cause people to take a moment to think about their own fire safety and whether this program can assist them.” 
“There are too many homes in Winnipeg that don’t have smoke alarms installed and unfortunately the result can be smoke inhalation, burns, and even death,” said retired firefighter Martin Johnson who now serves as President of the Firefighters’ Burn Fund of Manitoba. “The S.A.F.E. Family Program is an evolution of the S.A.F.E. Baby Program that the Firefighters’ Burn Fund ran throughout Manitoba so many years ago. We are grateful for the support of our partners in allowing us to bring this free smoke alarm program to families in Winnipeg.”

WFPS firefighters will install up to 20 smoke alarms each Saturday, by appointment. The program is only open to homeowner-occupied homes. Fire Prevention By-Law 35-2017 requires the installation of a by-law compliant smoke alarm in all residential rental properties. As such, smoke alarms will not be installed in all residential rental properties as part of this program.  

For more information and to apply to the program, see: winnipeg.ca/safefamily