New Canadians get education in fire safety

New Canadians moving into Windsor can now get fire safety tips from the local fire in several different languages.

Windsor Fire and Rescue translates safety pamphlets into five languages

The fire department has prepared safety pamphlets written in Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese. (CBC News)

Windsor Fire and Rescue has designed a safety campaign aimed at new Canadians living in Windsor.

During fire prevention week, which is currently underway, the fire department's focus is on educating immigrants about local fire protocols and safety devices.

The department has prepared safety pamphlets written in Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

Lissa Percy is with Windsor Fire and Rescue Services. She hopes the new literature fills in any information that could get lost in translation:

"We've translated some pamphlets into five languages that are prevalent in our area," she said.

The pamphlets are also posted on the fire department's website and will be distributed among local agencies dealing with new Canadians.

The department worked with the community organization Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women in developing the program.

"We have an influx of refugees from African countries, where they cook out in the open over open fire. This is something you cannot do over here," said Windsor Women Working With Immigrant Women program director Sudip Minhas.

Windsor is one of Canada’s most diverse cities. It is the fourth-most multicultural city in the country, according to Immigration Windsor-Essex.

Minhas is originally from India.

"Safety standards are not as good as they are here. Education is not as extensive. There’s nothing as structured as this," Minhas said.

She said in some cases, it's important to "instil fear" of fire into new Canadians, to ensure they stay safe. Minhas said building materials here, which include wood and carpet, are much more flammable than "mud huts and concrete" some families come from.

The pamphlets are also available at  Devonshire and Tecumseh malls all this week. Firefighters are on hand to talk to the public about fire safety.

Windsor Emergency Services want to educate new Canadians on fire safety devices that might be unfamiliar to them, such as home extinguishers.

"We do instruct them on what they are, what they do, their purposes, and we also ensure them that they are aware of the laws surrounding smoke alarms," Percy said. "We also ensure that they know how to install them and operate them."

Seeing safety devices operate is important, Minhas said.

"It takes barely two minutes for a house to catch fire and for you to escape. There has to be visual aide and re-enactment," she said of the education.