Services to Citizens
Description of the Fire Safety and Prevention Service
The Sutton Fire Service was officially created in 1930 and now has 32 paid volunteer firefighters who each have a minimum of 310 hours of basic training. Renovated in 2007, the station houses a fleet of seven specialized trucks, including a pump truck, tanker, tanker pump truck, pickup (used for vehicle extraction, forest fires and water supply) and rescue unit that doubles as a command post.
The Sutton Fire Service answers about 125 calls a year, of which more than a third are caused by poorly maintained or incorrectly programmed fire-alarm systems or human error. The “Reminders” section includes our tips on how to avoid false alarms.
Along with serving the territory of Sutton (an area of 246.54 km2) and its 3,906 inhabitants, the Sutton Fire Service also serves the municipalities of Brome and Abercorn — 12.02 km2 and 271 inhabitants and 27.22 km2 and 391 inhabitants, respectively. The Sutton Fire Safety and Prevention Service covers a total area of 268.06 km2 and serves a population of 4,599 people. These statistics were taken from the 2011 census.
Over time, mutual aid agreements have been signed with the municipalities of Brome Lake, Cowansville, Bromont, Farnham and Waterloo, as well as with Franklin County on the U.S. side (including the villages located between Richford and St. Albans). These agreements allow for each participating municipality to offer assistance when fires occur. The Sutton Fire Service also recently signed an agreement with Dunham allowing this neighbouring municipality to use our specialized firefighting equipment during emergencies and major fires.
Since 2006, new ministerial guidelines have led the Sutton Fire Service to adopt a more preventive, rather than reactive, approach. We have thus employed a tool, called a “fire risk reduction plan,” to establish an organizational and operational framework in line with the needs of our area.
In practical terms, this means that a coordinator has been assigned to analyze risks and encourage prevention so as to reduce the number of fires and make our firefighting more effective. The coordinator therefore conducts prevention visits to every residence, to establish personalized fire plans, make recommendations, identify water sources, note the number of residents in the household, identify the type of heating system used, etc. Other prevention activities are also organized in daycare centres, schools and seniors’ homes to educate people and practice fire drills.
If you’re planning to burn outside, you must always obtain a burn permit from the Sutton Fire Service. Permits are free and can be obtained by completing an online application, visiting the fire station or calling 450-538-2448 — Monday to Friday only — 24 hours before you intend to light a fire. The fire must be completely extinguished before dark.
Société de protection des forêts contre le feu (Sopfeu)
The smoke detector is your best friend in case of fire. A properly installed and maintained detector saves lives and is highly effective at reducing property loss.
Flammable and toxic, creosote builds up in chimney flues and presents a real danger to a building’s occupants. We recommend that you have your chimney cleaned once a year, or more often, depending on how much wood you burn.
Under Municipal By-Law 222, it is strictly forbidden to dispose of fireplace or wood-stove ashes in your household garbage. Whoever contravenes this bylaw is guilty of an offence and will be fined and required to pay all damages and costs incurred. Ashes can stay hot for over three days and can start a fire in the garbage truck.
Household fire drill
The following information is intended for families with children. If your children are old enough, you should prepare an evacuation plan with them by a drawing the house, including all the windows and doors, and indicating two ways to exits on it. Agree on a meeting point outside the house — a tree, a neighbour’s house or a spot in front of the house — to make it easier for the firefighters to see you. You must clearly explain that they must not hide under the bed or in the closet, must not be afraid of the firefighters’ uniforms and must listen to their instructions. Once your children have understood the evacuation plan and instructions, we recommend that you hold a fire drill:
- Activate the smoke detector. Evacuate on all fours, below the smoke.
- Before opening a door, touch it with the back of your hand to see if it is safe to open.
- Always close the door behind you.
- Never try to bring personal effects with you — evacuate as fast as you can.
- Once outside, go to the meeting point and call 9-1-1.
- If someone is left inside, DO NOT GO BACK IN but quickly inform the firefighters.
- Hold this fire drill at least twice a year.
Stickers for identifying your children’s rooms from the outside are available for free at town hall. Please remove the stickers when the rooms are no longer occupied by children.
Tips on avoiding false alarms
False alarms are costly to the community. We suggest that you:
- Clean smoke detectors with the vacuum;
- Call 9-1-1 to cancel the call in case of a false alarm;
- Tell your alarm-system company when you are doing renovations;
- Change your protocol to have the company call your home to check and see if the alarm was caused by human error;
- Leave a key to your house with someone you know in order to prevent forced entry. Firefighters have a legal obligation to check inside the house when a fire breaks out.