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Fire Prevention & Inspections
Fires that happen at home are devastating. It is important to understand and follow basic fire safety precautions. Many of these fires can be prevented if proper steps are taken to make your home more fire resistant.
For fire inspection information, please contact the RM office at 306-242-9303
Safety Tips for the Home
Throughout the House
Do not overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in place of additional outlets. Install and be knowledgeable in the use of the fire extinguisher. Place smoke detectors on each level of your home.
Never leave cooking unattended. Use appropriate cooking appliances that are kept clean. Grease fires should be put out by covering with a large metal lid. Avoid loose long sleeves when cooking.
Always use a fire screen to cover fireplace openings. Never leave lit candles unattended.
Install at least 1 smoke alarm outside each sleeping area. Check electrical appliances regularly (electric blankets, curling irons, radios, etc.).
Basement & Attic
Remove all combustible and flammable materials from the basement and attic. Do not store propane indoors. Chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year and have a professional thoroughly inspect your furnace every year.
Garage & Workshop
Flammable materials should be stored in approved containers and away from ignition sources. Keep the area clean of garbage, paper products, wood shavings and oily rags.
If there is a fire in your home, smoke detectors are your family's first line of defense. They give you an early warning that danger is present and could give your family time to reach safety. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly and batteries replaced yearly. Replace smoke detectors every 10 years.
Many newer homes have smoke detectors wired directly into the electrical system. There are also many different models of portable smoke detectors on the market that are battery-operated and easy to install.
Types of Smoke Detectors
There are 2 types of technology used in smoke detectors, and each is better at detecting a certain kind of fire.
- Ionization Type: The Ionization type of smoke detectors are generally better at detecting fast, flaming fires that burn combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly. Sources could include paper burning in a waste basket or a grease fire in the kitchen. These kinds of fires account for 70% of home fires.
- Photoelectric Type: The photoelectric type of smoke detectors are generally better suited for detecting slow-burning fires. These fires may smoulder for hours before they burst into flames and are caused by such things as cigarettes burning in couches or bedding. These kinds of fires make up 30% of home fires.
Fire Escape Plan
Draw a floor plan of your home showing all possible exits from each room. It is very important that every member of your family have 2 ways to escape a fire. Make certain that everyone understands that if they hear the smoke alarm or hear someone shout "Fire," they should immediately evacuate the home.
Designate a meeting place outside your home. Make sure that everyone knows not to re-enter. The fire department should be called from a neighbour's house. Practice your escape plan. Regular practice is essential so that every family member knows what to do.
Fire Pits & Burning Barrels
Outdoor fire pits and burning barrels should be built with material such as bricks, cement or steel. They should be placed a reasonable distance from any structure or combustible material. Fires must be supervised at all times by an adult until the fire has been completely extinguished. Landowners should be cautious when using outdoor fire pits and burning barrels during the summer months; do not burn on windy days in very dry conditions. Sparks can start a rapid fire that can be difficult to control. Have a garden hose or fire extinguisher available to quickly extinguish a spreading fire.
A common cause of fires at home is cooking fires. These are often started when grease catches fire. Use extreme caution when cooking with oil; heat it very slowly. Never leave the kitchen when cooking with oil. In most cases, the oil or grease catches fire because it got too hot, too fast. To put out a grease fire cover the flames with a large metal lid and turn off the heat. Do not try to pick up the pan. The flames could spread quickly.
Candles are safe when used responsibly and according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most candle fires are caused by not following basic fire-safety precautions. Sometimes the risk of a potential fire is from the candle holder.
Many fires are started because candles are left burning with no one watching. Fires are caused when flames from burning candles touch nearby curtains, party decorations or clothing. Also, fires are started by the candle wax getting too hot and catching fire.
Candle fires are more frequent in the months of November, December and January with a peak in December at 20 times the average monthly number of incidents. During the Christmas period, candle-related fires go up approximately 140%. Keep matches, lighters and burning candles out of reach of children.
- Be careful with glass candle holders, they can break if the candle flame gets too hot.
- Cut the wick short to prevent a high flame.
- Don't leave burning candles unattended.
- Don't place burning candles on or near anything that can spread.
- Don't use wood or plastic candle holders, they can catch fire, metal candle holders are safer.
- Place candles firmly in candle holders
- Place candles where they can't be knocked down.
- Use sturdy candle holders that won't easily tip over.
- Stop what you are doing if your clothes catch on fire. Do not run.
- Drop to your knees and lie down on the floor on your stomach.
- Close your eyes and cover your face and mouth with your hands to protect yourself from flames and smoke.
- Roll onto your back and to your front repeatedly until the fire is out. Fire needs air to burn; rolling from your back to your front will help to smother the fire.
- Remove burned clothing and check that it is not smoldering. Treat any burns immediately.