Fire prevention

The Vaudreuil-Dorion Fire Department prioritizes prevention in its activities. All its firefighters are trained to deal with various emergencies and they each meet training requirements under the law.

The Fire Department

Composition

Fire Department operations are provided by a total of 76 people, including 6 managers, 4 fire prevention technicians, 1 full-time lieutenant and 3 full-time firefighters, together with 7 part-time lieutenants and 38 part-time firefighters who respond to calls for assistance. The staff is divided into 6 teams that respond according to the nature of the call.

The Fire Department also has agreements to cover the Municipalities of Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac and L'Île-Cadieux.

Prevention Division

The Fire Department puts much care into its prevention activities. The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for residential fire prevention visits, which are required by the Schéma de couverture de risques en sécurité incendie (fire safety cover plan) of the Ministère de la Sécurité publique du Québec. The purpose of these visits is ultimately to reduce fires and their devastating consequences. Firefighters will arrive at your door clearly identified in uniform, from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. During their visit, they will verify the presence of a functional smoke alarm on all floors of the building as required by by-laws, and will check extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors. They will also provide useful tips and information on heating, electricity, evacuation plans, frying food and clearance of exit points. Lastly, these visits make it possible to update the 911 Centre data bank. Accordingly, following an emergency call, the dispatcher is able to provide information to firefighters to intervene adequately during a fire.

The 4 Fire Prevention Technicians are also responsible for inspections to ensure compliance with building fire standards, such as schools, daycares, seniors' residences, businesses and industries on the territory. They also assess construction plans and respond to residents’ requests related to fire prevention.

Operations

Fire fighting operations are carried out by the Operations Division. The Division responds to approximately 500 to 600 requests for assistance per year from residents or people in transit on the road system.

In addition to fighting fires, firefighters intervene during:

  • Road accidents
  • Jaws of Life emergencies
  • Vehicle fires
  • Forest and brushwood fires
  • Mutual assistance with neighbouring municipalities
  • Water or ice rescue

The Fire Department also specializes in interventions involving hazardous materials (Hazmat) and covers several municipalities in the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

“We cover a very large territory, with many special features. We protect $5.3 billion in property values spread over 75 sq km and 13,600 buildings.” Terry Rousseau, Director of Vaudreuil-Dorion Fire Department

Equipment

The Department has 3 fire stations on its territory. A team is present at all times during the week between 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM at the Vaudreuil-Dorion Central Fire Station located at 500 Forbes. Its strategic location close to Highways 40 and 540 enables it to improve the speed of intervention in peri-urban areas. The other 2 stations are located at 85 de Lotbinière and 4401 Séguin.

The service fleet consists of 15 direct response vehicles, 3 pumpers, 2 pumper-tankers, a 100-foot basket ladder, a 100-foot pumper ladder, personnel transport vehicles, specialized trailers and a 21-foot rigid-hull Zodiac Boat.

Equipment is inspected regularly to ensure its good condition and the safety of firefighters and residents. 

Smoke detectors

For your safety and that of your loved ones, check your smoke alarms at least twice a year, perhaps at the spring and fall changeover of the clock. To do this, press the “Test” button on each alarm. In the case of battery-operated alarms, perform a battery change at the same time.

Whether battery or electric, alarms have a service life of 10 years. After this period, it becomes necessary to replace them with new models. Install smoke alarms near bedrooms and common areas, such as corridors, to ensure that the buzzer is heard when activated.

Cooking fires

Certain behaviours can reduce the risk of fire during cooking:

  • Never leave food to cook unattended.
  • Never store items in the oven or on cooking surfaces.
  • Children should be kept away from the stove.
  • Always have a lid handy that can cover the entire vessel.
  • Cook pot handles should point inwards on the stove so that children cannot reach them.
  • Using a heating element with a diameter similar to that of the cook pot is recommended.
  • If the preparation of a meal includes frying, using of a CSA-approved fryer with a thermostat is strongly recommended. It is important to follow the safety rules laid down in the manufacturer's manual.

What to do if a fire flares up on the stove:

  • Stay calm.
  • If a cook pot catches fire, never throw any product into it. Water should never be used to extinguish flaming oil.
  • Extinguish a fire in a skillet or pan by turning off the heating element and placing the appropriate lid on the vessel.
  • Never move a flaming pan or pan, since serious personal injury may occur and the fire may spread.
  • Always dial 9-1-1, even if the fire seems to be out.

Mulch Fires

Mulch is a highly flammable material in hot, dry weather. Cigarette butts are the primary cause of landscaping fires. In fact, they can generate a fire 4 to 5 hours after they were thrown away. As mulch is often found near buildings, fire can spread very rapidly on building structures and wreak a lot of damage.

There are many ways to reduce the risk of fires starting in mulch:

  • Provide smokers with a safe ashtray to deposit cigarette butts and matches, such as a metal container of sand.
  • Leave at least 18 inches between buildings and mulch.
  • Ensure that outdoor electrical appliances are used properly and in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Do not leave any candles, torches, outdoor fire or other sources of heat unattended.
  • Do not throw cigarette butts or crush cigarettes in planters, flowerpots, etc.
  • Water the mulch regularly and make sure it is damp at all times, especially during periods of drought.
  • If smoke comes out of the mulch, immediately water the area, warn anyone inside the building and call 911.

Smoking items

Smoking items, such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, matches and lighters, cause nearly 400 fires each year. They are responsible for 1 in 7 deaths. In addition, fires lit by children playing with matches or a lighter are a major cause of injury and death in children 6 years and under.

Advice:

  • Always store lighters and matches out of sight and reach of kids.
  • Teach kids not to play with matches and lighters.
  • Teach kids to tell an adult if they find lighters and matches.
  • Teach kids what to do in the event of a fire: how to get out of the house, not to hide, where to meet up, which number to dial (911), etc.
  • Draw up an evacuation plan with the kids and practice evacuations with them.
  • Never leave a cigarette burning in an ashtray unattended.
  • Use safe ashtrays. A cigarette should not slip off the ashtray.
  • Never place an ashtray on an unstable surface, such as the arm of an armchair.
  • Check couch cushions and store all smoking items in a safe place before going out, going to bed or when smoking friends leave the house.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Never empty the contents of an ashtray into a trashcan without properly wetting the butts beforehand.
  • Never smoke in a room that may contain flammable materials or solvents.

Tumble dryers

Here are some preventive measures to reduce risks when using your dryer:

  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing and using the appliance.
  • It is strongly recommended that the exhaust duct be made of metal and corrosion-resistant, smooth and as straight-line as possible between the dryer outlet and the exterior of the building to prevent buildup of lint.
  • Avoid pushing the dryer up against the wall so that the ventilation system does not become blocked or the drain hose jammed.
  • Clean the lint filter after each use.
  • Do not leave home when the appliance is turned on. This safeguard also applies to all your appliances.