Ever wonder what your job is when it comes to fire safety?

Just how many smoke detectors do you need in your home and where should you put them? Who do you call to check if you think fire safety measures aren’t sufficient in a building?

Well now it’s a little easier to find out.

The London Fire Department recently beefed up and re-launched its website to make it easier for Londoners to get the information they need about fire safety.

“We’ve noticed for a long time our site was not the best to look at, shall we say,” said Deputy Fire Chief Dan Oldridge. “We had some comments that people weren’t able to find information.”

But that shouldn’t be the case any more. Menus have now been simplified to resemble the city’s main site. Although Oldridge said there still remain some ‘window dressings’ to be added, he said he’s hopeful the overhauled site will be more user-friendly.

“We’re hoping when it’s all done that people will find it a lot easier to use the website,” he said. “We’ve tried to put a really nice kids area in there and I think we’re still going to improve upon it.”

While people will find information about what to do in case of a fire, the emphasis is on preventing fires from starting in the first place.

“You’ll find that the website is really focusing on the fire prevention and fire education component more than anything else,” Oldridge said. “We really think the direction we wanted to head is the direction of our business model, which is improving the safety of Londoners,” he said.

The website also reflects the department’s effort over the last few years to make rental properties safer by providing information for landlords and tenants.

“A lot of the stuff is available on the site instead of the department having to send information out or having to find out the hard way when an inspector comes around,” he said.

He added the site also includes information about open-burning fires, which have become an increasing problem in the last few years. While it’s not illegal to have an open burning fire, Oldridge said it’s important to realize there are still rules about having one.

“Doing it safely, making sure you’re not doing it on smog days and making sure you’re not impacting your neighbours” are all part of that, he said.

The website overhaul comes as part of the fire department’s growing emphasis on fire education. Although Oldridge said the fire department has not yet ventured into the world of Twitter or Facebook to reach people, he could definitely see social media being part of the educational strategy in the future.

The revamped site can be accessed at www.london.ca/fire

josh.freeman@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @JoshatLondoner

via Fire department hits refresh | Local | News | Londoner.