Fireproof Your Home

 Fire prevention priorities from the Canada Safety Council

  1. Smoke alarms

Install a smoke alarm on each level of your home and outside all sleeping areas: in Canada this is now the law. If you sleep with the bedroom door closed  have a smoke alarm inside the bedroom. Test each alarm monthly and replace the battery twice a year. If you hear the smoke alarm “chirp” it means the battery needs to be replaced immediately. If you are hearing impaired consider purchasing flashing or vibrating smoke alarms.

  1. Escape plan

Make sure there are two ways out of each room. Keep hallways and stairs uncluttered. Leave your home and call 911 from a neighbor’s house  - do not to go back inside. If you can’t leave on your own, dial 911 immediately. Place a telephone beside your bed, as well as shoes, house keys, glasses and a flashlight.

  1. Cooking

Cooking fires are the number one cause of fire injuries among older adults. Never leave cooking food unattended. If you need to step away, turn off the stove. Keep lids nearby so that if the pan catches fire, you can carefully slide the lid onto it and turn off the stove. Mount a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and check the pressure gauge monthly. Don’t wear loose clothing when you’re cooking: a dangling sleeve can easily catch fire. Keep towels and potholders away from the stove. Clean the exhaust hood and the duct over the stove regularly.

  1. Heating

Have the furnace and chimney inspected by a professional every fall. Keep newspapers, rags and other combustible materials away from the furnace, hot water heater or space heater. Keep flammable materials, such as curtains or furniture, at least three feet from space heaters. Watch for electrical overload signals such as dimming lights when a heating appliance goes on; call a qualified electrician if this occurs. Never use the oven as a heater if the house feels too cold or the furnace goes off.

  1. Candles

Candles make a room feel warm and cozy but they are causing more and more house fires.  Consider natural-looking, battery-operated candles instead.

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