FIRE SAFETY AT HOME
Preventing fires and accidents from happening in the first place is, by far, the most effective action that you can take in your home. As much as we love what we do, we would be happy if we were not needed as often. This page outlines some of the best tips and techniques to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Smoke alarms may be the single most effective method of preventing fatalities from home fires. A disproportionate number of fire-related deaths occur in homes that do not have working smoke alarms.
Your smoke alarms should be:
- Installed in every bedroom, every hallway outside bedrooms, and on each level of a home.
- Hardwired so that they have a continuous source of power and have a battery back-up in case the power goes out.
- Interconnected so that if one detects smoke – all the smoke alarms alert the occupants.
- Tested monthly with the test button and the batteries changed once per year (when you set the clocks back in the fall).
- Replaced after 10 years (see date of manufacture on side or back).
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
Carbon monoxide, also known as the “silent killer” is a colourless, odorless gas produced by the inefficient combustion of fuels such as propane, natural gas, gasoline, and even wood.
- Homes with any fuel-burning appliances should have carbon monoxide alarms installed on every level and near bedrooms.
- Fuel-burning appliances, vents, and chimneys should be inspected annually by a certified technician.
Fire extinguishers can save lives and property by extinguishing a fire before it grows or containing it until the fire department arrives.
- Get one that is rated “ABC” which can put out any type of fire – from wood to grease. Never put water on a grease fire!
- Mount it in an easily accessible location near an exit – don’t let a fire get between you and your exit.
- Remember the acronym for proper extinguisher operation:
- P – pull the pin
- A – aim at the base of the fire
- S – squeeze the trigger
- S – sweep from side-to-side
- Don’t stay to fight a fire that keeps growing – the top priority is for everyone to get out safely.
HOLIDAY AND SEASONAL SAFETY
Many fires and accidents happen during the holidays, especially during the winter months
- Don’t leave the kitchen unsupervised with anything cooking on the stovetop.
- Keep young children out of the “kid-free zone” – one metre away from hot objects.
- Smother stovetop fires by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner.
- For oven fires, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Be vigilant with candles – ensure that they are away from combustibles and never left unattended.
- Keep real Christmas trees watered regularly.
- Turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Keep space heaters away from anything flammable.
If your house is on fire – it will likely be easy to distinguish from the signs of flame or smoke. However, during a medical emergency, hunting for house addresses can waste valuable time.
Our bylaws require that addresses be:
- Legible from a distance of 15 metres
- Numerals must be a minimum of 4 inches in height, and
- Of a contrasting colour to the background colour of the building.
CLOSE BEFORE YOU DOZE
Smoke from fire is toxic and is the primary cause of fatalities in home fires. Smoke can spread throughout a home quickly and make it difficult to breathe and find your way out. Keeping bedroom doors closed at night is one of the most effective ways of ensuring that you and your children are protected from the spread of smoke while you are sleeping.
Learn more about the Close Before you Doze program.