10 Tips for Preventing Fires
House fires occur all over Canada each year and typically arise from occurrences that could have been easily prevented. Here are 10 tips to help prevent fires or make sure you’re prepared in the event one occurs:
- Install and regularly check smoke detectors
This is extremely important as smoke alarms are designed to warn you of a fire. It is important to install the smoke alarms in places where there is an increased chance of a fire occur such as your kitchen, or furnace room. You also need to have a smoke alarm on every floor of your house.
Check the batteries when the clocks change to make sure they are still functioning properly and test the system regularly.
- Be careful when cooking
Do not leave heating appliances unattended and make sure your cooking area is safe. Do not keep easily flammable items near your oven or stove.
The number one cause of kitchen fires is grease so be extra careful when deep-frying or cooking with flammable oils.
- Frequently inspect and clean chimney flues
This is something that likely isn’t done as frequently as it should be. It is important to ensure there is no blockage or buildup in your chimney that could cause a fire.
- Monitor heated appliances and décor
Here is a little irony: you just bought those wonderful smelling STRESS relief candles that your friend told you about. So, you light them and cozy up on the couch with a blanket and your favourite book and the setting is so relaxing that you fall asleep. Now that stress relief candle is not being monitored and it causes a fire that damages your living room. Luckily you woke up and managed to get out safely but all of a sudden those stress relief candles are causing you a whole lot of stress.
It is important to monitor heated appliances and décor. Make sure you always remove any lint in the filter before using your dryer, and never leave irons unattended and blow candles out before bed or when you are leaving the room.
- Properly store flammable materials and remove debris
Always keep flammable materials such as gasoline away from your home.
Just finished raking up the fall leaves? Your job isn’t quite done, you need to make sure they are disposed of or stored away from the exterior of your home.
- Install lighting fixtures and bulbs properly
Many of us try or think we are a capable do-it-yourselfer but when it comes to certain things it is better to let the professional’s takeover. Ensure that all your light fixtures are wired and installed correctly.
When replacing a bulb be aware of the wattage indicated on the fixture and never use light bulbs that have a higher wattage than the maximum indicated on the fixture.
- Purchase a fire extinguisher
Having a fire extinguisher on your premise can come in handy in the event of a small fire.
Make sure you have your extinguisher serviced and inspected regularly and make sure it is installed in a good location in your home. Ensure that the extinguisher is labeled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- Prepare and update a list of your property inventory
The contents in your home should always be recorded. In the event of a claim it is important that you as well as your insurance company are aware of the contents in your home.
Make a list that includes the value of each item in your home and you can even take photos or make a video of your belongings. You should update this list regularly because you never know when a loss may occur.
- Create an emergency plan for your family
This is very important because in the event a fire does occur the most important thing is to make sure you and your family is safe.
Develop a fire evacuation plan outlining the course of action everyone should take and make sure you have an escape route in all locations of your home. Your neighbors might give you a funny look but practice executing the plan to remind everyone in your family what the procedure is.
- Assemble a disaster safety kit
Finally, this does not only apply for fire but for any disaster you should have a kit prepared with basic non perishable food, water and other necessities that will last you and your family at least 72 hours in the event of an emergency. Make sure the safety kit is in an easily accessible location and not stowed away in a closet behind a whole bunch of junk.
Protecting you is our biggest priority and we want to make sure you receive adequate coverage in the event that a fire does occur. To find out more about your coverage or actions you can take to make sure you are protected, give us a call at 1-800-361-0941.