It’s a festive time of year – that comes with a sobering statistic.
“From November 1, 2008 to January 1, 2009, 29 lives were lost through fire-related deaths,” explained Minister of Community Safety Rick Bartolucci.
From candles to Christmas lights, Menorahs to meals, fire safety is a big issue for the holidays.
Meralla Fernandez talked to the experts. Check out her tips in the video below.
Toronto Fire Safety Tips
Install and maintain smoke alarms
- Smoke alarms warn you of a fire in time to let you escape.
- Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near each sleeping area.
- Test smoke alarms regularly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Replace weak or dead batteries immediately with new ones.
- Remember, if your smoke alarms are hardwired they will not function during a power failure – consider installing a backup battery powered smoke alarm as an additional asset to your home.
Plan and practice your escape
- Prepare and practice a fire escape plan with every member of your household.
- Look for two ways out of each room.
- Arrange an outside meeting place and a safe location to call 9-1-1.
- If you live in a multi-storey building, in the event of fire, don’t use elevators.
Space heaters need space
- Keep portable and space heaters at least 1 metre (3 feet) from anything that can burn.
- Never leave heaters on when you leave the house or go to bed.
- Keep children well away from heaters.
Smoking is hazardous
- Set up a designated smoking area outside with large, deep ashtrays, and soak the butts with water before dumping them in the trash.
- Ask smokers to take it outside to reduce the risk of indoor fires and protect people from being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.
- Smokers need watchers. Before going to sleep, check under and around sofa cushions and upholstered furniture for smouldering cigarettes.
Be careful when cooking
- Be alert when you cook, and keep children out of the way.
- Don’t wear loose fitting clothing and be careful not to reach over hot burners.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- If a pot catches fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
- Keep pot handles turned inward.
Matches and lighters are for adults
- Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Teach children that matches and lighters are only for adults.
Use electricity safely
- If an appliance smokes or smells like it is burning, unplug it immediately and have it repaired.
- Check all of your electrical cords and replace any that are cracked or frayed.
- Don’t overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under rugs or carpets.
- Don’t tamper with the fuse boxes or use fuses of improper size.
Stop, drop and roll
- If your clothes catch fire, don’t run.
- Stop where you are
- Drop gently to the ground
- Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs
- Roll over and over until to the flames are smothered.
Crawl low under smoke
- If you get caught in smoke, the cleanest air will be near the floor.
- Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit.
- When power fails don’t use open flames or a charcoal grill indoors.
- Don’t use gas-fuelled appliances as alternative heating sources indoors.
- If you plan to use a portable generator, don’t connect household items to the generator unless you have it wired professionally – don’t hook the generator up to your home’s electrical system.
- Be sure the generator is kept outside where exhaust doesn’t enter buildings.
- Test your smoke alarms now – remember, if they’re hardwired they won’t function during a power failure – install backup battery-powered smoke alarms for additional protection.