Cambridge Fire Department IT Strategic Plan

Summary Report - Final

Importance of Technology to the Cambridge Fire Department (CFD)

The use of technology and the data it produces has become increasingly essential to most organizations and individuals to get things done. Within a municipal environment, this is especially true for a Fire Department (“Fire”) that relies on information and systems in true mission critical situations where livelihoods, properties and lives are at stake.

While Fire relies on people to complete the physical demands of service delivery, there is value in utilizing data and technology to support the delivery of service and allow staff to focus on the job at hand.

Throughout the firefighting industry, many technologies are being adopted to support prevention, enforcement, and suppression.

Developing a Fire-focused Technology Strategic Plan will assist the Cambridge Fire Department in making the most effective use of available technology, data analytics, and resources.

Cambridge Fire Department IT Strategic Plan Summary Report - Final



Safety in your home
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, change batteries immediately if needed.
  • Check for overloaded or damaged extension cords, replace where needed.
  • Practice your family's fire escape plan so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Check windows to ensure they open and close properly, in case they are needed as an exit during an emergency.
  • Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents.
  • Get rid of old newspapers, magazines and junk mail (recycle), as these items tend to pile up and can contribute to the severity and spread of fire.
  • Check and clean filters above your stove.
  • Pull refrigerator out and vacuum or dust the coils.
  • Always keep stairs and landings clear for safe evacuation in event of an emergency.
  • Don't over charge your lithium-ion devices, (smart phone, laptops, iPads, e-cigarettes, etc)
  • Don't charge any devices near or in front of an exit (e-scooter, e-bike, etc)
Safety outside of your home
  • Ensure your address numbers are up and visible from the street.
  • Maintain a clear 'fire zone' of 10 feet around structures.
  • Check outdoor electrical outlets and other electrical appliances for animal nests and to ensure proper wiring.
  • Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages as combustible materials are dangerous if they are exposed to heated automobile components, especially under the vehicle.
  • Clean up and properly store paints, pool and yard chemicals.
  • Check fuels containers for leaks and make sure they are properly stored.
  • Let power equipment sit for approximately 30 minutes before placing it inside to be sure there is no possibility of fire.
  • If you have a fire hydrant in front of your home, assist the Fire department by keeping it clear of snow
BBQ safety
  • Only barbeque grills outdoors - using grills indoors or in enclosed spaces is not only a fire hazard, but it exposes occupants to toxic gasses and potential asphyxiation.
  • Always position the grill well away from combustible objects - buildings, fences, deck railings and landscaping can catch fire easily and quickly.
  • Clean and service your grill regularly.
  • Check all propane tanks and lines for leaks and damage.
  • Never leave a lit grill unattended.
  • Always use long-handled grilling utensils and heat resistant oven mitts to avoid exposure burns from heat and flames.
  • Periodically remove grease build-up in catch trays to prevent it from catching.
  • City of Cambridge BBQ By-law #163-96
Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Many Ontario households have, on average, 4-6 fuel-burning appliances that produce carbon monoxide (CO) gas. These appliances include:

  • Furnaces
  • Water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Dryers
  • Barbecues
  • Stoves
  • Portable fuel-fired heaters and generators

It is now the law to install a CO alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas, if your home has fuel-burning appliances.  

Here are some quick facts about CO gas and alarms.

 Fire in Your Apartment Building

Talk to your landlord or superintendent. Know the emergency procedures outlined in the building's fire safety plan.

Every fire is different. You must act quickly when you hear the alarm or discover a fire. You must always protect yourself from smoke. Remember, most people die from the smoke, not the fire. Here is what to do.

If there is a fire in your apartment

  • Tell everyone in your apartment to leave.
  • Close all doors behind you.
  • Pull the fire alarm on your floor and yell 'fire'.
  • Leave the building using the nearest stairway.
  • Call the fire department when you are safe.
  • Follow the fire safety plan of your building.

When you hear the Fire Alarm

To go or to stay?

Most of the time, the best thing to do in a fire is leave the building as soon as possible. But in some cases you may not be able to leave and you may have to stay in your apartment. In either case you must act quickly. No matter what your decision you must protect your self from the smoke.

When you leave the building

Check the door to your apartment.

If smoke is entering from around the door, do not open it.

Protect yourself from smoke inside your apartment.

  • If there is no smoke, brace yourself and open the door a little.
  • If you see smoke or feel heat, close the door quickly and protect yourself.
  • If the corridor is clear, take your keys, lock your door, and go to the nearest stairway.
  • Open the nearest stairway door carefully.
  • If there is no smoke, use the stairway to leave the building.
  • If there is smoke, do not enter. Close the door. Go to another stairway and open the door carefully.
  • If there is no smoke here, use this stairway to leave the building.
  • If there is smoke, do not enter. If there are other stairways, try them. If there are not, return to your apartment and protect yourself from smoke.

When you are inside the stairway

If you find smoke on your way down the stairs, leave that stairway as soon as you can. In some buildings, some doors leading from the stair- way to the corridor may be locked. But at least every five floors the doors will not lock so you can leave the stairway.

  • Use another stairway if it is clear of smoke.
  • If you can't use any stairway, return to your apartment if you can, or go into any corridor and bang on apartment doors until you find a place to take shelter.
  • Never go to the roof. Smoke usually rises to the top of the stairway. Doors opening onto the roof are locked and you could be trapped.
  • Remember, wherever you are, if there is smoke, get low and go under the smoke to safety. The air is cleaner near the floor.

If you remain in your apartment

You must protect yourself from smoke. Stay in your apartment until you are rescued or until you are told to leave. This may take a long time. Do not try to leave your apartment a long time after the alarm has sounded. The longer you wait, the more risk there is that heavy smoke will have spread into stairways and corridors. Your chances of survival are less.

  • Keep smoke from entering your apartment. Use duct tape to seal cracks around the door and place wet towels at the bottom. Seal vents or air ducts the same way.
  • If smoke enters your apartment:
  • Telephone the fire department, tell them where you are and then move to the balcony. Close the doors behind you.
  • If you don't have a balcony, go to the most smoke-free room, close the door and seal it with tape and towels. If neces- sary, open the window for fresh air. Show emergency personnel where you are by hanging a sheet from the window or balcony.
  • Keep low to the floor where the air is cleaner.
  • Listen for instructions from authorities.

Remember, fire safety begins with you.

Find out about fire safety in your building.

For more information about surviving a fire, ask your building management or the fire department.

Office of the Fire Marshal © 2008