Fire safety is vital to you, your loved ones, and your property. Fires can start unexpectedly and spread quickly, often leaving mass destruction in their path. Therefore, it is important to have a safety plan in place in case of a fire, and implement preventative measures that can help minimize the risk of a fire and/or its impact. Today, let’s chat about some key tips to keep in mind in relation to fire safety and prevention.
According to SGI Canada, “there are about 24,000 house fires each year in Canada, resulting in an average of 377 deaths and 3,048 injuries per year, and in fatal, preventable house fires, more than 1/3 of the homes didn’t have a working smoke detector.”
Here are some ways to keep you, and your home safe:
Install smoke alarms
You should have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home. This includes inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas. It is imperative to regularly test your smoke alarms to ensure that they are in proper working order. It is suggested that you check your alarms once a month, and batteries should be replaced at least once a year (often it is suggested to change out the batteries when daylight savings begins and when it ends). A smoke detector that doesn’t work is useless in the event of a fire, so it is key to make sure they are ready to do their job.
Have and escape plan
In the event of a fire, it is good practice to have a detailed plan with different routes as well as a designated meeting point outside of your home. Be sure to have these important conversations with your children so that they understand what they need to do if a fire should occur and practice your escape route so that they know exactly what is expected should it happen.
Be safe in the kitchen
SGI reports that the main source of preventable house fires is the result of cooking equipment, which can ignite clothing, oil or other flammable liquids. Therefore, always ensure that you are cooking safely. This means not leaving cooking unattended, especially when using high heat or open flame. It is also important to be aware of your surroundings and keep items such as towels or oven mitts away from the stove.
Be aware of electrical safety
When was the last time you checked your outlets to ensure they aren’t overcrowded? Always avoid overloading your outlets, and only use them for what they are intended for. It is also important to regularly check the chords and plugs in your entire home to look for damage and replace any worn or frayed wires.
Aside from the negative health implications of smoking, it can also be dangerous. If you do smoke, try to avoid smoking inside of the home, and don’t smoke in bed. Also be sure to discard cigarette butts in proper areas, and ensure they are fully put out. Never throw your cigarette butts out the car window, especially during dry, hot seasons.
Have a fire extinguisher
Having a fire extinguisher at the ready is a good idea. Be sure that you know how to use it in the event of a fire and place it in an easily accessible location like the kitchen or garage. Inform family members of its location and educate family members on proper usage.
Whether at home, or at work, ensuring people are educated about the dangers of fire is important. For children, ensure you teach them about the dangers of fire, and to not play with items such as matches, lighters, or candles.
We want to ensure that you, your family, and your home stay safe from the risk of fire. Keep these tips in mind, and you are well on your way of reducing the risk of fire.