How to Prevent Fire in Your Home
Reprinted with the permission of the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia.
Fire is an excellent servant . . . but a poor master. Now is a good time to
review a few common-sense precautions that can reduce the threat of fire in
your home. Be sure to post the checklist where all members of your household
can refer to it easily.
Be careful; be prepared
No home is immune from fire. Although preventing fires is preferable to
fighting them, we should always be prepared for the worst.
Plan your exit
Make an escape plan. Practice fire drills. Every member of your household --
babysitters, too -- should know the exits and how to use them. Remember,
keys to double-cylinder door locks should be easily reached. Learn your
fire-emergency telephone number and keep it handy to the phone; program
that number into your phone, if you can. It is usually best, however, to get
out of a burning building immediately and phone for help from a safer location.
Give your fire department early warning, because a small blaze can become a
major fire in minutes. If seniors are often home alone, advise them to
subscribe to an emergency alarm service.
Maintain smoke alarms
Smoke detectors save lives, but a smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery,
or one that is wired to a switched circuit, is worse than none at all -- it
builds a false sense of security. Smoke detectors should be installed outside
bedrooms and on each additional level of the home, including the basement.
Keep smoke detectors clear of dust, and never paint them. Don't use
rechargeable batteries; they can quit without warning!
In case of fire
Get out! Stay out!
Some tips on keeping a safer home...
If you smell smoke or see flames, get everyone out of the building immediately.
During a fire, the air is cleaner near the floor.
Get down on your knees and crawl to an exit.
Close doors to slow the spread of smoke and flame.
Agree on a meeting place; go there and "take attendance" to be sure that
no one is left inside the building.
Call the fire department!
Phone the fire department and give the complete address of the fire.
Don't hang up until you're told to.
Be sure that no one goes back inside the building for any reason.
Tell the fire department if anyone is trapped inside the building.
Don't fight fire . . .
unless someone has called the fire department;
unless you still have a clear exit;
unless you have the right tools and know exactly what to do.
Remember, things can be replaced, but you cannot.
Break the fire triangle
Most fires need heat, oxygen and fuel. Break the triangle at any point and
you'll extinguish the fire.
Cooling removes heat.
Smothering removes oxygen.
Relocating combustible material removes fuel.
Learn the ABCs of your fire-extinguishers
Fire extinguishers can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or
containing it until fire-fighters arrive. Before you begin to fight a small
fire, make sure that everyone is leaving the building and that the fire
department has been called. If your escape route could be blocked, get out!
Your fire extinguisher must fit the fire:
"A" is for ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper and plastic.
"B" is for flammable liquids like gasoline, grease, oil paint, and flammable gas.
"C" is for live electrical wiring and devices.
Know the fire-extinguisher PASSword
PULL the pin AIM low SQUEEZE the handle SWEEP from side to side, keeping the extinguisher aimed at the base of the fire.
If your clothes catch fire . . .
STOP where you are; don't fan the flames by running. DROP to the ground. ROLL over and over -- in a rug, blanket or coat -- to smother the flames.
Protect your face with your hands or a damp cloth.