Fire Safety Tips
Fire Safety Tips
July 15 is Pet Fire Safety Day, and while it’s important to know how to keep our furry family members safe, it’s also important to make sure we know how to keep ourselves and our property protected in the event of a fire.
Here are some tips on making sure you keep yourself, your family, your furry friends, and your possessions safe.
Safety Tips for Pets
- Whenever you are not home, try to keep your pets near an easily accessible entrance in case a rescue is necessary. Close the doors to bathrooms, bedrooms, or any other room so your pets can be easily found by firefighters.
- Place a sticker on the front and back door or windows with clear visibility to advise rescuers that there are pets in the house. You can get free decals for your home at http://www.canadianfreestuff.com/free-pet-emergency-decal-from-ontario-spcafreebies-canada/. These are great for noting what kind of pet(s) you have and the number you have in the house in case of emergency.
- Frequently check your home for potential electrical fire hazards such as loose wires, space heaters (should always be turned off and unplugged when not in use), hair styling equipment, irons, stoves, or any other item that could be likely to start a fire.
- Both dogs and cats like to chew, so it’s important to secure or unplug wires and cords so they do not become chew toys that can injure pets or start a fire.
- Never leave our pet unattended around or near an open flame. This includes candles, fireplaces, outdoor fire pits, and barbecue grills. Always check your home to ensure there are no smoldering ashes that could re-ignite.
- A hot pan of grease can cause serious harm and be the source of a grease fire. Do not allow your pets around kitchen stoves when cooking, and never leave a pan of hot grease on the stove to cool. Cats are climbers and it’s easy for them to jump onto a stove and inadvertently turn on a stove knob. Use knob covers to secure them so they cannot be turned.
- Keep leashes, collars and even pet carriers near exits for easy evacuation in an emergency.
- Install a smoke alarm system that is connected to an actual monitoring center for immediate assistance even when you are not at home. (You can even get a discount on your insurance for having this!)
- Use flameless candles for all occasions and for power outages.
Remember, some of these tips are applicable even if you don’t have pets!
Safety Tips Inside the House
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year, and change batteries immediately as needed.
- Check that your fire extinguishers are up to date – some will expire, while others may be rechargeable or refillable.
- Practice your families fire escape plan so everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of an emergency.
- Windows should be checked to ensure that they open and close properly in case needed as an exit.
- Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents.
- Recycle! Dispose of old newspapers, magazines and junk mail. These items can pile up easily and can greatly contribute to the severity and spread of a fire.
- Check and clean filters above your stove, in your furnace, and your dryer.
- Keep the coils behind your refrigerator clean and dust free.
- Always keep stairs and landings clear for save evacuation.
Safety Tips Outside the House
- Make sure your address numbers are up and can be seen from the street, so that emergency personnel have good visibility of your residence when trying to reach you.
- Check outdoor electrical outlets and other electrical appliances for animal nests and to ensure proper wiring.
- Keep 100’ of garden hose with an attached nozzle connected and ready for use.
- Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages – combustible materials are dangerous if they’re exposed to heated automobile components.
- Properly store or dispose of paints, pool chemicals and yard chemicals.
- Let recently used power equipment sit for approximately 30 minutes before storing to be sure there is no possibility of a fire.
BBQ and Fire-Pit Tips
- Some municipalities do not allow open air burning, especially during a drought. Always check with your local fire department for questions, instructions and permits.
- All barbeque grills must only be used outdoors – using grills indoors or in enclosed spaces is not only a fire hazard, but it exposes occupants to toxic gasses and potential asphyxiation. It’s also important to position the grill away from buildings, fences, deck railings and landscaping.
- Keep your grill clean and get it serviced as needed. Check all propane tanks and lines for leaks and damage.
- Never leave a lit grill unattended.
- Keep a garden hose nearby, connected and ready for use in case of a fire.
- Douse hot coals or logs with plenty of water and/or sand before disposing of them.
For more information on fire safety you can visit http://www.oafc.on.ca.