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.
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.
- 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.
- 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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