Many Canadians may be under-protected and unprepared when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety at home. According to the Canadian National Fire Information Database, 80 percent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, often due to missing alarm batteries or expired alarms. This Fire Prevention Month is a great opportunity to prepare a safety checklist to help ensure your home and family are protected from the threats of smoke, fire and CO.
Install Smoke and CO Alarms
For whole home protection, install smoke and CO alarms. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement and inside every bedroom. Similarly, CO alarms should be installed in or near every sleeping area and on every level, as well as the basement. For convenient 2-in-1 protection, upgrade to the First Alert 10-Year Sealed Battery Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. This 2-in-1 alarm provides protection from both smoke and CO and is equipped with a sealed 10-year battery, which eliminates the need for battery replacements for a decade.
Alarms should also be tested regularly and need to be replaced at least every 10 years. If alarms are powered with replaceable batteries, the batteries should be replaced at least every six months.
Be Prepared to Fight Small Flames
Beyond alarms, having fire extinguishers—and knowing how to use them—is crucial for protecting your home if a fire breaks out. Extinguishers should be placed on every level of the home and in areas where there is a high risk for fires, such as the kitchen and garage. Make sure every adult in the home knows where extinguishers are located and how to use them. If the fire is too large and cannot be controlled, it is important to exit your home immediately and call first responders.
Practice Your Emergency Escape Plan
According to a consumer survey from First Alert, of the 56 percent of Canadians who report having an emergency escape plan, only one in five practise it twice a year. Make sure to involve everyone in your household in creating a plan and practise it at least twice a year. Equip second-floor bedrooms with escape ladders and discuss how to use them. Identify two ways out of each room, including windows and doors, and a meeting place outside away from the house. Emphasize that once at the designated meeting spot, everyone must wait until fire officials clear your home for safe re-entry.
With these safety precautions, you and your loved ones can rest assured knowing your home is better protected and prepared.
To learn more about home safety products and tips, visit firstalert.ca.
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CREATED BY BC LIVING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FIRST ALERT