Each year, there are thousands of reported fires due to home fires in Canada. While fire prevention isn’t on every homeowner’s priority list, it should be. The good news is that preventing home fires is pretty easy. Here are essential home fire prevention tips:
- 1. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home. The alarms should be tested once a month and the batteries replaced once or twice a year. A good time to change batteries is when daylight saving time begins and/or ends.
- 2. Homeowners should have a fire escape plan in place and establish two exits from each room. The whole family should practice the plan and establish a meeting spot outside the home.
- 3. All members of a household must know how to contact each other in case of an emergency by creating a family communications plan. Household members should also learn the stop, drop, and roll technique in case their clothes catch fire.
- 4. The kitchen is where most home fires start. Those who are cooking must always attend the oven or stove, stay alert while frying, broiling or grilling food, and turn off the cooking appliance when leaving the kitchen.
- 5. Smokers should smoke outside and choose fire-safe cigarettes and big ashtrays that have water in them. Smoking in bed or when drowsy or medicated is dangerous.
- 6. Matches and lighters should be kept out of children’s reach. Kids should also be taught about fire safety.
- 7. Stove and cook tops are the most common causes of fires started by pets. Stove knobs should be removed to prevent pets from starting fires.
- 8. Candles must never be left unattended – they should be extinguished when leaving the room or going to bed. Candles should also be used in sturdy holders placed on a horizontal, stable, and heat-resistant surface. When the power is out, using candles is a fire hazard – battery-operated flashlights are much safer.
- 9. Homeowners should have their heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned by a professional every year.
- 10. When in use, electric heaters must be supervised – and unplugged when leaving the room or going to sleep. They should be placed on a stable, horizontal surface.
- 11. The electrical wiring in homes must be checked periodically. Frayed or damaged cords or wires should be replaced. Also, overloading extension cords should be avoided. Large appliances must be plugged directly into wall sockets.
- 12. Combustible substances, such as gasoline, should be stored in a container designed for that purpose. The containers should be kept outside the home in a detached garage or lawn shed.
In the unfortunate event of a home fire, property owners need to act quickly and contact their insurance agent immediately. Here are the questions that homeowners need to ask their insurance agent after a home fire. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.