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Have lines of defence in your home place re ex- tinguishers smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors strategically. Inspect your home and property so you know where the liabilities or hazards are. Havemajorapplianceslikeheatingstovesandfurnaces serviced at least once a year. Keep combustible items away from heat sources. Have an evacuation plan in place and make sure everyone in the household understands. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Ensure your insurance is current. If you do not own yourpropertytakeoutrentersinsurance.Understand what is and isnt covered. After a re contact your insurance company quickly so you can be assigned an adjuster. In case of a re contact emergency services as soon as possible. Check in with community organizations and drives to see if they can support you after a re. What to do when a house fire happens to you THE FIRE MARSHAL RECOMMENDS Tuesday October 6 2015 11 FIRE PREVENTION WEEK 2015 684-117E NN NJ 2015 Fire Service Merit Awards The 2015 award recipients are Jim Sawkins Fire Chief of the Inuvik Fire Department and President of the NWT Fire Chiefs Association Sherry Beard Fire Chief of the Yellowknife Airport Fire Department Bradley King Volunteer Firefighter at the Fort Resolution Fire Department The Fort Simpson Fire Department Each year through the Fire Service Merit Awards we recognize individual firefighters and fire departments for the important work they do in our communities. The Honourable Robert C. McLeod Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs and the NWT Fire Marshal would like to congratulate the winners of the 2015 NWT Fire Service Merit Awards for exceptional efforts in promoting fire safety and fire protection in their communities. Thank you for your dedication. Robert C. McLeod Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs By DALI CARMICHAEL You could pull all the stops buy all the bells and whistles decorate your home with re extinguishers carbon mon- oxide detectors and alarms and still a house re could happen to you. This was the case for Dot- tie Hawley and her family. Hawley her husband and theirsonwerejusttuckinginto Saturdaynightdinnertogether ontheeveningofMay9when theyweretoldtogetoutofthe house by some passers-by. They emerged with noth- ing but the clothes on their backs only to look up and see ames licking out of the top oor of the neighbouring unit in their duplex. Thank God for that re wall Hawley said describ- ing the slab of cinder blocks that climbs the height of her home a barrier that helped to blocktheamesfromspread- ing between the two units. Reports say the re was started by a cigarette thrown away in a trash can. Smoking material has caused a lot of damage in the territory for improperly dis- posed cigarettes said NWT re marshal Chucker Dewar. Itscausedalotofpeoplegrief. Cautious of their belong- ings and well supported by their landlords the Hawleys were always prepared in case of re. Smoke detectors were locatedoneveryooraswere CO2 monitors. Weevenhadreextinguish- ers everywhere it would make sense to have them Hawley proclaimed. I was uprooted from my home of almost a de- cade.Everythingweownedwas affectedbysmokeandasbestos. Perhapsthemostimportant defenceHawleyhadtakenwas buying renters insurance. It has covered almost ev- erything so far Hawley said. If we didnt have renters insurance wed be hooped. Itpaidfortheirhotelstayat thePelicanInnforalmostthree weeksasthefamilystruggled tosearchfornewaccommoda- tionsinatightrentersmarket eventuallysettlinginanunoc- cupied trailer. Itcoveredthereplacementof thefamilysmattresseswhich were smoked out as the re started climbing its way over the re wall through the attic and upstairs bathroom. Theinsuranceeventookcare ofthecollectionoftheHawleys belongings.Thosesalvageable pieceswerecleanedandplaced in two storage units. Following the re at their home Hawley said she was honouredwhenthecommunity pulledtogethertosupporther familythroughclothingdona- tions nancial support even checkinginatherplaceofem- ployment-theliquorstore-to make sure she was doing ok. Thanks to the quick action of the Fort Smith Volunteer FireDepartmentmuchofthe buildingwassalvageable.After months of work the family is looking forward to moving intotheirhomeonceagainthis coming November. Itcouldhavebeensomuch worse she said. Everyone was safe and at the end of the day thats whats important. According to the re mar- shal the family took all the right steps to prepare them- selves in case of re. PhotocourtesyofRamandaSanderson Dottie Hawleys posessions were ruined by smoke when her neighbours unit caught re in May.