Fire Prevention Week is a tradition across North American and the Oakville Fire Department has participated the past 12 years by hosting a kick-off event. But I want to also encourage you to kick off Fire Prevention Week at home by ensuring that your home - the building and the people inside - are safe and prepared for a fire. I recommend this for everyone, but especially those moving into a new home.
How fire safe is your home? Take the Fire Safety Quiz.
Here are the top Fire Safety tips for any home or cottage. How many of these practices and devices do you employ?
- Install a Photoelectric smoke alarm and a BC-rated fire extinguisher in your kitchen. That particular alarm detects the type of slow, smoldering fire that often starts in the kitchen.
- Keep bedrooms and other sleeping areas safe by installing smoke alarms outside each sleeping area, or inside each bedroom if you sleep with doors closed. As well, install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm outside the master bedroom.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) alarmin the basement area to alert you and your family to a hazard. Also have an ABC-rated fire extinguisher within reach to fight small and contained fires.
- Test alarms at least once a week to ensure they are in good working order and the batteries are fresh. All alarms have a test button. Replace batteries with time changes, in the spring and fall.
- Check fire extinguisher gauges or “pindicators” regularly. A gauge should always read on the green area, and a pindicator should spring back when pushed.
- Replace smoke alarms that are older than 10 years – no matter how well they seem to work – and replace carbon monoxide alarms that are older than 5-7 years depending upon the manufacturer.
- Handle gasoline and other highly flammable liquids carefully. Keep gasoline out of children's sight and reach, and never store it near possible ignition sources. Keep gasoline in an approved safety container, and replace worn or damaged containers immediately. Clean any spills thoroughly at once.
- Remove your vehicle from the garage as soon as you start it. An idling vehicle emits dangerous carbon monoxide. Never run a vehicle indoors, even if the garage is well ventilated.
- In keeping with this year's Fire Prevention Week theme: Have two escape routes mapped out in your fire escape plan - If one of the routes is inaccesible, you have a backup plan.
- Practice your fire escape plan at home every few months.
Fire Prevention Week runs from October 7 to 13, 2012. This year's theme "Protect your Family from Fire - Have Two Ways Out" was announced by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
To join in Oakville's Fire Prevention Week Kickoff:
September 22, 2012
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oakville Fire Department Training Campus
1144 South Service Road West
Thank you for reading.
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