4 Ways to protect your family from fire

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We all do our best to create safe and healthy homes, and yet many Canadians are underprotected and unprepared when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety. Fire Prevention Month in October is an excellent opportunity to prepare a safety checklist to ensure your home and family are protected from the threats of smoke, fire and CO.


Install smoke & CO alarms

Nearly one in five two-storey homes have just one smoke alarm installed. To secure the highest level of protection, install smoke and CO alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. For enhanced home safety and convenience, install combination alarms, such as the First Alert 10-Year Battery Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which features a slim, contemporary design that mounts unobtrusively on a wall or ceiling. The two-in-one alarm protects from both smoke and carbon monoxide and is equipped with a 10-year battery, which eliminates battery replacements and low-battery chirps for a decade. Remember that alarms don’t last forever and must be replaced at least every 10 years, regardless of the manufacturer. If you don’t remember when an alarm was installed, it’s best to replace it entirely.

Be prepared to fight small flames

Beyond alarms, having fire extinguishers – and knowing how to use them – is an essential part of maintaining a safe home for you and your family. Place extinguishers in easy-to-reach locations on every level of the home and in key rooms where there is a high risk for fires, such as the kitchen and garage. Make sure everyone in the home knows where extinguishers are located and how to use them. If the fire is too large and cannot be controlled, it is important to exit your home immediately to help ensure a safe escape.


Help protect against the ‘silent killer’

Carbon monoxide is an odourless and colourless gas that is produced from any fuel-burning appliance. It is the number one cause of accidental poisoning and can only be detected with an alarm. Yet, more than one-third of Canadian homes do not have a CO alarm, according to a consumer survey conducted by First Alert. There is a variety of First Alert CO alarms available such as a tabletop 10-year sealed battery alarm and plug-in alarms with battery backup for protection during power outages. Regardless of the type of alarms, you have installed, it’s important to check all CO and smoke alarms regularly using the test button.

Practice your emergency escape plan

Of the 56 per cent of consumers who report having an emergency escape plan, only one in five practice it twice a year. Make sure to involve everyone in your household in creating a plan, and practice it at least every six months. As part of this plan, equip second-floor bedrooms with escape ladders and discuss how to use them. Identify two ways out of each room and a meeting place outside away from the house. Emphasize that once at the predesignated meeting spot; everyone must wait until fire officials clear your home for safe re-entry.

Proper smoke and CO alarm installation and maintenance can mean the difference between a safe home and a dangerous home. To learn more about home safety products and tips, visit firstalert.ca .