With many thousands of young adult New Brunswickers starting college this month, the Alarmed and Ready campaign is stressing to post-secondary students the importance of fire prevention and having smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. 

Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry says many young people attending university or college are living away from home for the first time and it's important that they take measures to protect themselves in their new residences.

Fire Prevention Canada

The Office of the Fire Marshal advises students to keep these tips in mind as they settle into their new residences and apartments:

· Make sure your bedroom has a working smoke detector

· Identify two ways to escape your bedroom and know where to find the emergency exits in your apartment building or residence

· Have a fire escape plan and practice it

· Keep exits, hallways and stairs clear to ensure a quick escape in the event of a fire

· If a fire alarm sounds, leave quickly and do not take any belongings with you

· Avoid using wax candles. Flameless LED candles are a safer alternative


Provincial Fire Marshal Douglas Browne says a working smoke alarm more than triples your chance of making a safe escape in the event of a fire. He says location matters when it comes to your smoke alarm. Alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home or apartment, including the basement. Sprinkler systems are also important and crucial to dormitory safety, as shown in this video from the Fredericton Police Department:

The Alarmed and Ready campaign also includes a focus on protection from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

John Gignac, executive director of the Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for Carbon Monoxide Education, is a retired firefighter who lost four family members to carbon monoxide poisoning in 2008 when a clogged vent from their gas fireplace caused the deadly gas to seep back into their home in Brantford, Ontario.

“You can’t see, smell or taste CO gas,” Gignac says. “A working CO alarm, in conjunction with smoke alarms, provides the early warning needed to prevent a tragedy.”

As part of the campaign, firefighters from around the province visit homes and apartment buildings, inspecting them for working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and providing free alarms and batteries to those who need them as well as fire safety information.

Kidde Canada (Facebook)

The campaign is a partnership of the Office of the Fire Marshal, Enbridge Gas New Brunswick, the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Hawkins-Gignac Foundation for Carbon Monoxide Education and alarm manufacturer Kidde Canada.

More than 60 New Brunswick fire departments have participated since the campaign's initial launch, giving out more than 3,000 alarms and thousands of replacement batteries. Fire departments are encouraged to participate by contacting the Office of the Fire Marshal at 506-453-2004.