The Manitoba government will purchase and distribute thousands of smoke detectors in First Nations communities to address house fires.
Approximately 2,250 smoke alarms will be shipped to the First Nations of Garden Hill, St. Theresa Point, Red Sucker Lake, Wasagamack and Cross Lake, communities which can be vulnerable to fires due to the remoteness of their locations, Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke said in a press release.
Municipal Relations Minister Andrew Smith said the risk of dying in a house fire is reduced by 50 per cent in homes with working smoke alarms.
“The rise in house fires with fatal outcomes in First Nations is tragic, and this targeted fire and life safety project is vital to stopping these preventable deaths,” Smith said in a statement.
According to an annual report by the Office of the Fire Commissioner, Manitoba reported 3,360 fires in 2019, with 1,159 reported in rural communities and 39 in Indigenous communities.
Fifteen people died in fires in 2019, the report states.
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The alarms will be distributed at community barbecues throughout the summer, along with batteries, installation instructions and safety pamphlets.
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