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Fireman Stan shares his tips to help make your home more fire safe. Test smoke alarms regularly and change the batteries ...
at least once a year. Have an escape plan and a meeting place outside. And follow these tips for fire prevention.
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Chapter 1 Maintaining Smoke Alarms
Assistant Chief Mark Pankhurst is an expert at fire safety and he's here to show you how to prevent fires and help make your home fire safe. A working smoke alarm is the first line of defense in the event of a fire. So an important step in fire safety is to make sure there is one on every story of the home as well as outside in the sleeping areas. However, you want to avoid putting alarms too close to bathrooms, windows, ceiling fans and heating and cooking appliances and always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing.
Now you are going to need to make sure they work. Test every month by using the Test button on the alarm. If the alarm doesn't sound make sure the battery is installed correctly or replace the battery. If it still fails to work, change the smoke alarm.
You will need to change the battery at least once every year. A good way to remember is to change it when you change the clock's and finally smoke alarms wear out so if yours are more than 10 year old, replace them.
Chapter 2 Fire Escape Plan
Every family needs an escape plan. It should include two exits from every room if possible and an outdoor meeting place away from the home. Keep escape routes clear. Make sure noting is blocking stairs and doorways and that all windows and doors are easy to open. Look for things that could slow down your escape and either move or fix them. Assistant Chief Pankhurst recommends practicing with every member of your family at least twice a year to reinforce proper escape practices.
Chapter 3 Feel the Heat
If there is a fire feel the door with the back of your hand. If it feels cool, it's safe to open the door slowly. Get low and go. Crouching low under smoke is the safest way out of and if your clothes catch fire, stop drop and roll. If the door is warm, use the second escape route. Upstairs; this is likely to be a window so you may need to have a portable escape ladder easily accessible.
Chapter 4 Calling 911
Get to your designated meeting place outside and called 911 from there. Tell the operator there is a fire and give them the street address. Stay on the line until told it's okay to hang up and be sure to speak clearly and give as much information as possible. Remember, get out and stay out, never reenter a burning building.
Chapter 5 Fire Prevention
Did you know that cooking is the number one cause of home fires in Canada? Be sure to never leave cooking unattended. Children playing with matches or lighters is another main cause of house fires. Remember these are not toys and should only be used by grown-ups. When using candles place them on a sturdy base, blow them out before leaving a room or going to sleep and keep flames at least 3 feet away from any items that can burn and if there's a power outage have flashlights on hand instead of candles. This reduces the risk of knocking them over in the dark.