Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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Female Speaker: A home fire can happen much more easily than most people think. Fire fighters battle more than 50,000 residential fires in Canada every year and yet a recent survey conducted by the Canada Safety Council and Duracell concluded that the majority of Canadian households over 69% have not given any thought to preparing a fire escape plan and only 1 in 10 people said they had practiced the home fire drill in the past year.
Ethel Archard: More home fires start in the kitchen than in any other room and grease fires are very often the culprit. Never ever leave cooking unattended and have a fire extinguisher nearby. Candles are causing more and more house fires. Always keep an eye on candles, place them completely away from anything that might catch fire or knock them over and snuff them out when you leave the room.
Most fatal home fires start at night and quite often, the smoke alone doesn't wake you up. In fact, the fumes can actually put you into a deeper sleep, and what's the point of having a smoke alarm if it doesn't work? A wrongly intend smoke alarm on each floor is the first and most important safety measure to take. That means each one has to be checked and tested regularly to make sure the batteries are still working. Remember a dead unit is worse than none at all because it gives you a false sense of security.
As well as a properly working smoke alarm on each floor, the best defense against a fire is a well rehearsed family escape plan. I will give you a few pointers on that, but first let's look at some important fire prevention tips.
Do not overload outlets and do get rid of old and frayed extension cords. Practice unlocking doors and windows. Tell children not to hide from a fire, but to get out immediately and call 911 from a neighbor's home. Teach them what to do if their clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll. Teach children that smoke rises and show them how to crawl under smoke. Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every floor, near the kitchen and outside all sleeping areas. Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms regularly. A good way to remember is to change the batteries when you change your clock in the spring and in the fall. When doing this, use good quality battery.
Now here is how to plan for your family fire drill. Draw a floor plan of your house. Mark two ways to get out of each room. Establish a meeting place outside the house. Be sure each family member has the plan and knows the escape route. Post your fire escape plan where everyone can see it. It's important to hold a fire drill for the family once or twice a year. Vary the situations so you can practice escaping from different fire sources.
Female Speaker: Knowing what to do ahead of time for a fire emergency can save precious seconds and that will save lives. A dependable fire escape plan plus regularly tested smoke alarms could make all the difference between life and death when an emergency unfolds.
Visit www.duracellfiresafety.com for more family fire safety tips.