Each year fire services and the National Fire Prevention Association draw attention to things we can all do to be prepared for a fire in our home or workplace. Taking note of these suggestions and sharing them with your family can save lives.
Safety While Cooking –
Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Thanksgiving is the leading day for fires involving cooking equipment.
The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling food. If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home.
Always keep a lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it’s cool.
Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop. Loose clothing can hang down onto stove burners and catch fire. Wear short, close-fitting, or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet (1 metre) around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
Alarm Installation –
Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages and can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
Make A Plan to Escape –
Home fire escape planning should include the following:
• Drawing a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows
• Going to each room and pointing to the two ways out
• Making sure someone will help children, older adults, and people with disabilities wake up and get out
• Teaching children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them
• Establishing a meeting place outside and away from the home where everyone can meet after exiting
• Having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms
• Pushing the smoke alarm button to start the drill
• Practicing what to do in case there is smoke: Get low and go. Get out fast!
• Practicing using different ways out and closing doors behind you as you leave
• Never going back for people, pets, or things
• Going to your outdoor meeting place
• Calling 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone
Staying Warm and Safe –
Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating equipment fires.
All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 metre) away from heating equipment.
Have a 3-foot (1-metre) “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters. Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
Have a qualified professional install heating equipment. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
Fore more fire safety information please visit the National Fire Prevention Association website.