Statistics show that the leading causes of residential fires in Canada originate from cooking and smoking, as well as the failure to properly operate or maintain mechanical or electrical equipment.
These fires result in thousands of deaths and injuries each year, along with billions of dollars in property damage. The statistics are alarming, and yet many residential fires are avoidable. Don't let a fire catch you or your family off guard. By following fire safety precautions and having an effective home fire safety plan, you can improve your family's chances of escaping a fire safely, and in some cases help avoid one altogether.
Learn ways to practice fire safety in your home with the following safety tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.
Home Fire Prevention Throughout the Year
The best way to stay safe from fires is to stop them from occurring in the first place. Start by implementing these fire-prevention measures in your home every day of the year.
· Keep flammable materials away from heat sources. If you're using a portable space heater, keep it at least 1 metre away from flammable objects such as furniture, blankets, electronics or anything combustible.
· Do not wear loose clothing when around cooking stoves or open flames.
· Do not leave flames or smoking materials unattended, including fireplaces, stovetops, candles and cigarettes. Avoid smoking indoors, and never smoke in bed.
· Fix or replace frayed electrical cords or wires.
· Do not overload wall outlets or extension cords.
· Have your furnace or home heating source periodically inspected and kept in good working order.
· Make sure everyone in the household, including your children, understands the importance of home fire safety and observes fire-safe habits.
Home Fire Safety Equipment
A good home fire safety plan includes having the right supplies and safety equipment on hand. These tools will be your first line of defense in the event of a fire, and they can dramatically improve your ability to react immediately and effectively.
· Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home, in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
· Inspect and maintain your smoke detectors.
· A fire extinguisher can keep small, containable fires from growing out of control. Have an extinguisher handy whenever you use cooking or heating equipment.
· Learn how to use your fire extinguisher.
· Consider installing an automatic sprinkler system in your home.
Fire Safety Planning
During a fire emergency, reaction time is critical. In addition to having fire safety supplies and equipment, everyone in your household should know what to do if a fire starts.
Here are some tips to get you started:
· Create a fire safety plan that establishes at least two escape routes and a safe location away from the home where everyone can meet.
· Make an emergency communications plan to stay in contact during and after a fire.
· Practice your escape plan twice a year so everyone can act quickly when it counts.
· Teach children how and when to call 911.
Please keep in mind that during winter months, the chances of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning also increase, and according to Statistics Canada, is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in Canada and North America.
If disaster does strike, your family's safety is of primary importance. Use our home fire safety tips to stay out of harm's way. Once the smoke has cleared, you can count on the knowledgeable and experienced professionals at ServiceMaster Restore for advanced fire damage services and support. It is a phone call we hope you never have to make – but if you do, we are here 24/7 every day of the year, with the expert assistance you need to get your home and your life back to normal as soon as possible.