Fire Prevention for Residents
Do you have a safety plan in case of a fire?
It's important that you and your family be prepared in case of a fire in your home. Even small children can learn very quickly what to do in case of fire and smoke.
Your children should be educated on what to do in case of fire. So don't put off what you should do today, because when fire strikes, there is no time to think or prepare.
- Draw a floor plan diagram of your whole home, involve the entire family.
- Decide on two escape routes for every room - especially sleeping areas. Mark them clearly on your diagram.
- Make special arrangements for children, older adults, and people with disabilities. People who have difficulty moving should have a phone in their sleeping area.
- Choose a meeting place outside your home where everyone will gather after a fire to wait for the fire department. This allows you to count heads and inform the fire department if someone is missing. Post this diagram where everyone in the family can see it clearly.
- Practice your plan regularly, at least twice a year. Appoint someone as a monitor and have everyone in the family participate. A fire drill is not a race. Get out quickly, but carefully.
- Make your exit drill realistic. Pretend that some of the exits are blocked by fire and practice alternative escape routes. Pretend that the lights are out and that some escape routes are filling with smoke. Make sure everyone in the household can unlock all doors and windows quickly, even in the dark.
Fire safety tips that everyone should know:
- If your clothes catch on fire, STOP where you are. DROP to the ground. ROLL over and over to smother the flames. DO NOT run because running will increase the flames.
- Test doors before opening them. While kneeling or crouching at the door, reach up as high as you can and touch the door, the knob, and the space between the door and its frame with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, use another escape route. If the door is cool, open it with caution.
- If you are trapped, close all doors between you and the fire. Stuff the cracks around the doors to keep out smoke. Wait at a window and signal for help with a light-colored cloth or flashlight. If there's a phone in the room, call the fire department and tell them exactly where you are.
- In the case of a fire, don't stop for anything! Do not try to rescue possessions or pets. Go directly to your meeting place and then call the fire department from a neighbor's phone or an alarm box. Every member of your household should know how to call the fire department.
- Crawl low under smoke. Smoke contains deadly gases, and heat rises. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you encounter smoke when using your primary exit, use your alternate escape plan. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head 12 to 24 inches above the floor.
- Never go back into a burning building. Once you are out of the home DO NOT go back for any reason. If people are trapped, the fire fighters have the best chance of rescuing them. The heat and smoke of a fire are overpowering. Fire fighters have the training, experience, and protective equipment needed to enter burning buildings.
REMEMBER to regularly check your smoke detectors by testing them monthly. Notify Maintenance if the detector doesn't test.
Keep an eye on smokers
Please review our Smoke Free Policy.
Never leave cooking unattended
Keep cooking areas clear of combustibles and wear clothes with short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook. Turn pot handles inward on the stove where you can't bump them and children can't grab them. If grease catches fire in a pan, slide a lid over the pan to smother the flames and turn off the heat source. Keep lid on until pan is completely cooled.
Give space heaters space
Keep portable and space heaters at least three feet (one meter) away from anything that can burn. Keep children and pets away from heaters and never leave heaters on when you leave home or go to bed.
Never leave your dryer on when you leave the home or go to bed. And always remove the lint from the ling traps after every load. You should also check the exhaust hose once a year for build up.
Matches and lighters - tools, not toys
In a child's hand matches and lighters can be deadly. Buy child-resistant lighters and store all matches and lighters up high, where kids can't see or reach them, preferably in a locked cabinet. Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys, and should be used only by adults or with adult supervision. Teach small children to tell a grownup if they find matches or lighters; older children should bring matches and lighters to an adult immediately.
Carbon monoxide detectors are also a good idea. Every year 1,500 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is often called 'The Silent Killer' because you can't see it, smell it or taste it. It is the number 1 source of accidental poisoning deaths in North America.
Keep your family and home fire safe! Do it today!