IS YOUR HOUSE FIRE SAFE?

I was talking with a longtime friend yesterday and he was telling me his daughter lost her home to a fire. Fortunately no one was injured but they did lose everything, including many personal items that can never be replaced.

So I thought I would send out this home fire safety checklist for you to evaluate your home and make any necessary changes to your home or how you do everyday things around the home in a safe manner. Be sure to get your children involved as they need to understand the importance of fire safety.

Your home should be free from all life-threatening fire hazards and you should be prepared if a fire occurs in your home. Take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “no” to any of them, you may have a serious fire hazard in your home or lack the necessary knowledge and equipment to protect you and your family from fire. If you need assistance, contact your local fire service.

Fire Escape Planning

Does your family have a fire escape plan?

Does your entire family practice a home fire drill at least twice a year?

Does your family have a meeting place outside at the front of your home where you can count to be sure everyone has escaped?

Does everyone know two ways out of all areas in your home or apartment?

Smoke Alarms

Does your home have at least one smoke alarm on every level?

Are the smoke alarms tested monthly, vacuumed every 6 months, batteries replaced annually, and alarms over 10 years old replaced with new ones?

Heating Safety

Do you have your furnace, pipes and chimney cleaned and checked by a qualified specialist before each heating season?

Do you keep portable space heaters at least one meter (3’) away from drapes, couches, etc.?

Is your fireplace equipped with a close-fitting metal fire screen or heat-tempered glass doors?

Are ashes for disposal kept in metal containers?

Are wood burning stoves installed in conformance with applicable codes?

Fuel Safety

Are all flammable liquids, solvents and adhesives stored in approved containers?

Are these items stored and used in well-ventilated areas, away from children, sparks or heat?

Do you store all gasoline and gasoline-powered appliances outside the house?

Do you use propane appliances such as barbecues, and store space cylinders at least 1 meter away from building openings?

Do you use your barbecue away from combustibles such as siding, fencing, furniture, etc.?

Cooking

Is your stove kept clean and free of grease?

When cooking, do you avoid wearing loose clothing with long sleeves?

Do you keep paper towels, tea cloths, curtains and other combustibles away from the stove and other heat sources?

Do you keep a tight fitting lid handy, which can be used to smother a small fire in the pot before it spreads?

Housekeeping

Do you keep your basement storeroom, garage and yard clear of rubbish and other combustible waste?

Is all necessary storage kept away from sources of heat, such as the furnace, radiators and portable heaters?

Electrical

Do you check electrical cords and plugs for damage and wear?

Are extension cords being used only as a temporary measure?

Are you sure that extension cords and circuits are not overloaded?

Are only 15 amp fuses used on lighting and small household appliance circuits?

Candle Safety

Do you use candles with caution and ensure that they are placed in sturdy non-combustible containers that fully enclose the flame?

Do you make sure that all candles are extinguished before leaving the rom and never use candles in bedrooms?

Fire Extinguishers

Do you have an adequate multi-purpose fire extinguisher available?

Do you know how to use it properly?

Matches & Lighters

Are matches and lighters stored out of the reach of children, in a locked cabinet?

If you smoke, do you have just one lighter or a book of matches and keep it with you at all times?

If a fire does strike your home, remember these important points:

Alert everyone in the house/apartment and follow your escape plan.  Never go back inside for any reason.

Call the Fire Department as soon as possible from a safe location.  Meet our firefights and tell them of any people or pets trapped inside.

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