Facts about house fires
- In Canada, 1 out of 100 preventable residential fires are fatal.
- The #1 ignition source in all preventable house fires is cooking equipment that ignites clothing, oil or flammable liquids.
- In fatal, preventable house fires, the #1 ignition source is smoking materials, such as cigarettes.
- Fires are most likely to start in the kitchen, bedrooms and living room.
- In fatal, preventable house fires, more than 1/3 of the homes didn't have a working smoke detector.
Kitchen fires are common and preventable
- Have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen for small fires, and learn how to use it. If a grease fire occurs, remember to never use water as this will cause the hot grease to splatter, burning you or spreading the fire. Instead, smother it with a lid or another pan, then turn off the burner.
- Consider installing special stove top burners that have a high end heat limiting technology (HEHLT) on them which prevent the element from getting to a flammable temperature.
- Check out the video about preventing cooking oil and grease fires.
Protect your home and family
Take these measures in order to protect your family and home from the leading causes of fire loss:
- Prepare a fire escape plan for your family, outlining designated escape routes and a safe meeting place outside of your home.
- Teach your family fire safety and practice your fire plan frequently.
- Install smoke alarms and check them monthly to make sure they're working. Remember to change the batteries yearly.
- Never smoke in bed or in a place where you may fall asleep. Ensure all hot embers are in an ashtray and are extinguished before emptying it into the trash.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended and learn how to burn candles safely.
- Keep portable fire escape ladders in all upstairs bedrooms.
- Store matches and lighters in a safe place, up high and out of the reach of children.
- Never run cords under rugs or heavy furniture.
- Inspect your home for fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical circuits, light bulbs with greater wattages than a light fixture is rated for or combustible items (like newspapers, cardboard and rags). Keep any combustible items away from all portable space heaters, water heaters, furnaces or other heat sources.
- Always store flammable liquids in an approved container designed to store the liquid and keep it in a locked, detached shed. Wipe up any spills immediately and never refuel motors near heat sources, sparks or cigarettes. Never use gasoline in your home or basement.
- If you operate a wood-burning appliance or fireplace, become thoroughly familiar with its safe operation and maintenance, and learn how to burn wood safely.
If a fire happens
- Put your fire escape plan into action and evacuate all members of your family.
- Contact your local fire department immediately, or dial 911.
- When it is safe to do so, contact your broker to arrange for an adjuster to handle your claim.
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