Oct. 6 to 12 is Fire Prevention Week, and on Tuesday we had a reminder of why we can’t stress the importance of it enough. We heard about not one, not two, but three fires in the space of a little over an hour, including a tragic fire in the Merville area. We think it’s important to stress some of the talking points from the Fire Prevention Week website:
Home Fire Escape Planning
• Home fire escape planning and drills are an essential part of fire safety. A home fire escape plan needs to be developed and practised before a fire strikes.
• A home escape plan should include two exits from every room in the home
• Smoke alarms detect and alert people to a fire in the early stages. Smoke alarms can mean the difference between life and death in a fire.
• Working smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire.
• 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.
• Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm.
• Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. 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.
• Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.
• 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 one metre away.
• Have a one-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.