Fire safety in your home
Being prepared is your best defense against a fire in your home. Minimize your family’s risk of fire-related injury by following these safety tips.
Smoke alarms save lives. It is important to put smoke alarms in the right places in your home. You should also test them regularly to make sure that they work properly. You can minimize your family’s risk of fire-related injury or death by installing the right number of smoke alarms in the right places in your home, and by keeping them all in good working order.
- Install smoke alarms outside each bedroom and sleeping area, and on each level of your home, including the basement.
- Read and follow every step of the manufacturer’s directions when you install your smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms every month to make sure that they are working properly.
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning your smoke alarms.
- Change the batteries as often as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Replace any smoke alarms that is more than ten years old.
- Investigate any false alarms, and have an escape plan in case of a real fire.
Purchase a fire extinguisher for your home and keep it handy in the event of a small fire. Make sure you know what to look for when buying a fire extinguisher for your home.
- Ensure your extinguisher is labelled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- The higher the number rating on the extinguisher, the more fire it puts out. It is important to make sure you can comfortably hold and operate the one you buy.
- Have your extinguisher serviced and inspected regularly, and recharge it after use.
- Install your fire extinguisher near an escape route and away from potential fire hazards.
Did you know?
Smoking is one of the leading causes of house fires. Smokers should regularly check their furniture for fallen cigarettes or embers, which can smoulder for hours before bursting into flames. Make sure to properly extinguish cigarettes and never leave lit cigarettes unattended.
You can follow some simple rules to reduce the risk of hazards associated with electrical products.
- Check for counterfeit electrical products that do not meet Canadian electrical safety requirements. Signs of counterfeit products include poor quality, very inexpensive price, grammatical errors and unusual fonts on the product, labeling or packaging.
- Regularly check and clean appliances with filters and screens such as dishwashers and clothes dryers. In the case of clothes dryers, leftover lint in the screen and piping can ignite in high temperatures, causing fires.
Power cord safety
- Keep cords for electrical appliances, such as deep fryers, kettles, steam irons and toasters, out of the reach of children. They can be hurt or burned if they pull an appliance off a counter.
- Keep cords a safe distance from heat and water sources.
- Make sure that the proper indoor and outdoor cords are used for electrical products.
- Discard or replace worn and/or distressed cords and plugs on any electrical product. Frayed/damaged lamp cords are a fire and shock hazard.
- Never break off the third prong of a plug.
- Unroll cords completely before use to avoid overheating.
- Unplug heat producing electrical products when not in use, such as kettles, toasters, irons and hair dryers.
- Extension cords should not be:
- used as fixed wiring
- permanently secured (stapled)
- run through doors, walls, ceilings
- run under rugs
- run behind or on radiators or baseboards
- used to support heavy objects
- Read the directions to see if it is safe to use an extension cord or power bar with your electrical product.
Practices to avoid when using electrical products
- Do not place heat producing electrical products too close to flammable material.
- Do not place lamp shades too close to combustibles, including light bulbs.
- Do not bring electronic devices to bed, such as laptops and smartphones. They contain lithium batteries which can explode and cause fires when they fail.
- Do not leave cooking appliances unattended.