The good news is that most fires are preventable. Whether you are protecting your home, business, or farm, there are a number of easy precautions you can take.
Have a Fire Escape Plan
If a fire were to break out in your home or business, what would you do? You need a plan.
An important step in fire prevention is making a fire escape plan. It may sound like you are back in school but you cannot deny that school children know the sound, know where to go, know how to exit, and know where to meet in an emergency. Make sure everyone knows the sound of your alarm, knows what to do when they hear it, and designate a safe meeting spot outside.
Fire Safety First
Ensure you have proper smoke alarms installed in your home. Your smoke alarms should have been tested and approved by the Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC) or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Check your batteries regularly and replace them every six months.
You should also have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. Be sure your detector has a ULC or CSA safety listing and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance.
Consider installing an automatic sprinkler system in your home. Sprinklers go to work immediately by releasing water directly over the heat source and can reduce the risk of fire death by 82%.
The Co-operators offers discounts for having an approved sprinkler or fire alarm system in your home.
Cook Safely to Reduce the Risk of Fire
Did you know that cooking is one of the most common causes of residential fires?
Cook safely and do not leave appliances unattended. If you are leaving the room while something is cooking, keep a timer handy to remind you when to switch off the oven or burners. Be especially cautious when cooking with oil or grease as these are the fastest spreading and most destructive type of residential fires.
Maintain Electrical Appliances and Wiring
In addition to cooking, electrical malfunctions are another leading cause of fires in homes, businesses, and farms.
Never use electrical equipment that is in poor repair or has a damaged cord.
> Never overload a circuit or extension cords
> Ensure extension cords have the proper power rating for the device being powered
> Ensure that you keep a safe space around electrical heating equipment.
Careless smoking is another common cause of residential fires. Never smoke in bed and always be certain that cigarettes are fully extinguished before disposing of them.
Kids Need to Know About Fire Safety
Did you know that each year in Canada, some 1,300 fires are started by children playing with matches and lighters?
Teach your kids about the dangers of playing with fire and keep matches and lighters out of sight and out of reach. Make sure they know that all fires, even small ones, can spread very quickly.