Lately the Calgary Fire Department has been very busy with a rash of house fires. Some of them have been very bad, with injuries and even a fatality. It can happen to anyone so here are some tips that may save you or someone you love. If you want to watch how fast things can get out iof control, click on the image below and watch a YouTube video of a living room candle starting a fire.
Home Escape Plan
- Every home should have a Home Fire Escape Plan. This should include two exits from each room, especially bedrooms.
- Exits in your home must be kept free of toys, furniture and other clutter?
- Assign someone to assist others with limited mobility such as infants or seniors.
- Practice the escape plan twice a year? It is a good idea to practice at different times as reactions will differ depending on time of day or night.
- Pick a safe place to meet outside after leaving your home. It should be far enough away to be safe, yet close enough to be accessible.
- Get out first, then call 911. Be sure everyone knows this number.
- Your house number should be clearly visible from the street and back alley. Numbers should be a contrasting color to the building structure, light vs. dark.
When properly installed, smoke alarms provide the best early warning in the event of a fire. They save lives and reduce damage to homes and belongings.
- All smoke alarms in your home should be tested once a month by pressing the alarm’s test button. Replace the batteries at least once a year and do not use rechargeable batteries.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every t10 years.
Home Safety Checklist
- Adults must be present in the kitchen when cooking food.
- All cooking areas must be free of flammable materials.
- Ensure that pot handles are turned towards the back or inside of the stove.
- Keep children one metre (three feet) away from the stove when adults are cooking.
- Portable space heaters should be located away from combustible materials, never left unattended and turned off when going to bed.
- Have your heating equipment - chimneys, fireplaces, wood stoves or furnaces inspected by a professional once a year.
- Always blow out candles when adults leave the room or go to bed.
- Place candles in holders that won't tip over easily and are big enough to catch dripping wax safely.
- Matches and lighters MUST be kept in a locked cabinet out of children's sight and reach.
- Check your electrical cords to ensure they are in good condition without cracks or frayed areas.
- Flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene or propane must be stored in safe containers outside the home in a properly ventilated shed.
- Smokers should douse all cigarette butts and ashes with water before throwing them into a non-combustible container.
- You should complete a Home Fire Safety Checklist with your family or residents of your home. You can download one from the Calgary Fire Department HERE. You can also download a Home Fire Escape Plan Form HERE.