According to the Canada Safety Council, firefighters battle more than 50,000 fires in residences each year. Each home should have working smoke alarms near the kitchen, outside the bedrooms and on each floor. In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, make fire safety a priority by developing a plan and practice your fire escape route.
Planning your escape
In the event of a fire, getting you and your family out of your home quickly and safely is critical. The Canada Safety Council recommends the following steps for you and your family to plan and practice a fire drill at home:
Draw a floor plan of your home
Mark two ways out of each room, such as a window on a lower level or a door
Establish a meeting place outside the home, such as at a neighbour’s home
Be sure each family member knows the plan and practice it while staying low to avoid smoke and get the cleanest air
Make a copy of your fire escape plan and put it on the fridge or family bulletin board. Put it by the emergency phone numbers that you leave for your babysitter when you are out of the home
Hold a fire drill for your family once or twice a year. Vary the drills, to practice escaping from different fire sources, such as a kitchen fire or candle spill.
Fire safety during the holidays
The holidays are coming up and it’s a good time to learn fire safety tips for dealing with decorations, lights and candles.
If your family uses a real Christmas tree, get it freshly cut and make sure it’s watered daily. If you prefer an artificial tree, look for the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) label and the words “fire resistant” on the packaging.
Check your lights before stringing them on the tree to make sure they are not worn out, frayed or missing bulbs. Don’t overload circuits or extension cords with too many lights or appliances.
Keeping candles safe
More people burn candles during the holidays than at any other time of the year. Be sure to keep the wicks trimmed to 6 mm (¼ inch), do not place them near flammable materials or liquids and always put them out if you are leaving the room. Pay special attention to multi-wick candles that can produce larger flames and more heat. Avoid putting candles in decorations or arrangements that may catch fire. Only light candles when they are sitting on a stable surface.
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