OFM - 04-40c-03
Public Fire Safety Guidelines
Fire Prevention and Public Fire Safety Education
Distribution of Public Fire Safety Education Materials
To assist municipalities in developing strategies for the distribution of public fire safety educational materials in accordance with the minimum acceptable model for the provision of fire prevention and fire safety education under section 2 (1)(a) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
The FPPA recognizes the importance of implementing three lines of defense (Public Education, Fire Safety Standards and Enforcement and Emergency Response) to achieve an acceptable level of fire safety within communities. Distribution of public fire safety education materials fall under the first line of defense.
The loss of life and property in Ontario due to fire has continued to drop for several years. Changing public attitude and improved public knowledge of fire safety can help account for this decrease.
Public fire safety education materials can vary between communities depending on each community’s needs and circumstances as determined by the risk assessment process.
The methods of delivery of these materials to the public can also vary greatly depending on the types of information being disseminated and the audience being targeted (e.g. children, seniors, specific cultural communities and overcoming language barriers, etc.)
Local needs should be identified through a risk assessment, which includes a review of emergency response data, residential surveys and fire service experience. A risk assessment will assist the fire department in identifying high-risk groups and activities so that effective strategies can be developed to successfully distribute appropriate public fire safety education materials to those at highest risk of fire.
Community needs may also be identified through the use of fire safety surveys and focus groups. These may help to determine the community’s knowledge and attitudes regarding fire safety as well as providing insight into the type of fire safety information that is needed in a community. Surveys are also helpful to gauge the impact of fire safety information that has been distributed.
Fire safety education materials focus on fire prevention, detection and escape. These materials and messages will change depending upon the target audience.
Fire safety education materials may be distributed to residents in one or more of the following ways:
- Distributing pamphlets or other educational material (e.g. through mailings, on a web site, by a resident calling a phone number to request information, by making materials available in municipal buildings, distributing material to critical contact organizations, through door to door campaigns, etc.)
- Distributing public service announcements utilizing available media resources (television, print and radio)
- Providing instruction to residents/occupants on fire safety planning and related fire safety matters
- Presenting to groups such as seniors, children or special interest groups like girl guides/boy scouts, business or professional associations
- Using effective training aids such as the safety villages, fire safety trailers, videos, articles and photos related to actual fires
- Participating in displays and public events
- Providing fire safety messages on municipal vehicles and on sign boards throughout the community
- Providing training and resources to target group contacts (e.g. a community leader, homecare worker, seniors’ events coordinator, building manager, etc.)
- And other methods
Fire officials should identify the most effective means for their residents who are most at risk. Responsibility should be assigned to ensure materials are delivered. Accurate records should be kept
of the materials distributed.
Fire officials may wish to consider recruiting sponsors and partners in fire safety, from local community organizations that share a vested interest in the fire safety of the community.
Other communities may have excellent public fire safety education program materials and resources already in place. Consider contacting them for suggestions and additional information, which may be available. For information on ordering OFM or Fire Marshal Public Fire Safety Council (FMPFSC) materials contact the OFM
Regional Office. For enquiries about appropriate materials for your programs, contact your local fire protection adviser. Fire safety education materials may also be found on the OFM website, http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/ . or through the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council Distribution Centre, www.safecommunities.com.
It is important for fire officials to track the distribution of materials for evaluation purposes. Fire officials may wish to review relevant chapters of the IFSTA Fire and Life Safety Educator, as a resource for the evaluation process of educational materials. As a minimum, the number of target residents reached should be recorded.
Resources and additional information that will assist in establishing local policies and appropriate programs, are listed below. All are available at http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/ . Please feel free to copy and distribute this document. We ask that the document not be altered in any way, that the Office of the Fire Marshal be credited and that the documents be used for non-commercial purposes only.
Public Education Activity Form (html)
Resource Material & Codes Standards & Best Practices
Public Fire and Life Safety Educator Course
PFSG 04-40-12 & 03 Selection of Appropriate Fire Prevention Programs Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council @ www.firesafetycouncil.com
OFM website – www.ofm.gov.on.ca for the following links:
Fire Prevention: Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council
- Resource Catalogue
- Public Education Programs
- Media Information
Fire Prevention Week:
- Information and resource kits for fire prevention week activities
Fire Safety Information:
- Public Service Announcements
- News Releases
- Risk Guardian
- Fire Statistics
- Ontario Fire Services Messenger
- OFM Communiqus
National Fire Protection Association materials (www.nfpa.org)
Neighbouring communities and their fire departments/services.