Fire Prevention Week
Fire Prevention Week
In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. It is important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.
Join NFPA® in celebrating the 100th anniversary of Fire Prevention Week™ (FPW). This year’s FPW campaign, “Fire won’t wait. Plan your escape, works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe from home fires.
Today’s homes burn faster than ever. You may have as little as two minutes (or even less time) to safely escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds. Your ability to get out of a home during a fire depends on an early warning from smoke alarms and advance planning.
Home Fire Escape Planning and Practicing
It is important for everyone to plan and practice a home fire escape. Everyone needs to be prepared in advance, so that they know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds. Given that every home is different, every home fire escape plan will also be different.
Have a plan for everyone in the home. Children, older adults, and people with disabilities may need assistance to wake up and get out.
Click below for a kid-friendly activity guide to help you create your personal home escape plan:
Escape Plan Checklist
Escape Plan Grid
Escape Planning for Older Adults
· If you cannot escape safely, keep your door shut, place a towel or blanket at the bottom of the door and stand near the window for fire service to reach you. You can use a flashlight to shine out the window to alert emergency personnel. Call 911 to let the fire department know you are inside the home.
· If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you can fit through the doorways. Keep your walker, scooter, cane, or wheelchair by your bed/where you sleep to make sure you can reach it quickly.
· Consider sleeping in a room on the ground floor to make emergency escape easier.
· Strobe light alarms can be added to your smoke alarms for a visual alert. These can be found online or in most retail and hardware stores.
· For people who are visually impaired or blind, the sound of the smoke alarm can become disorienting in an emergency. Practice the escape plan with the sound of the alarm to become familiar with, and practice with the extra noise.
· For people with cognitive disabilities, work with their healthcare providers and local fire department to make a plan that works for their needs.
Smoke alarms sense smoke well before you can, alerting you to danger. Smoke alarms need to be in every bedroom, outside of the sleeping areas (like a hallway), and on each level (including the basement) of your home. Do not put smoke alarms in your kitchen or bathrooms.
Choose an alarm that is listed with a testing laboratory, meaning it has met certain standards for protection.
For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.
· Click here to learn how to install your smoke alarm.
· A continued set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
· A single “chirp” every 30 to 60 seconds means either: the battery is low and needs to be replaced, the alarm has reached the end of its life, or the alarm is not working properly, and the entire unit needs to be replaced.
· All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
· Smoke alarms save lives! To learn how to properly test your smoke alarm, click here.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can render you unconscious before you even realize something is happening to you. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you so you can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check your home.
CO alarms also have a battery backup. Choose one that is listed with a testing laboratory. For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.
Other Fire Prevention Information
· Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
· If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan.
· Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 1 metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
· To prevent overheating and ignition of cooking oil, fry foods in a temperature-controlled deep-fat fryer or skillet designed for a maximum temperature of 200 °C.
· Use back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk of pots being knocked over.
· Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, and other items that can burn, away from your stovetop.
· In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat, and keep the door closed.
· If a fire starts in the microwave oven, leave the door closed, turn it off, and unplug it from the wall. Get out and call 9-1-1.
If you have a fire in your kitchen and your initial attempts to smother the flames do not work, leave your home, and call 9-1-1.
· Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
· Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
· Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
· Have an escape plan.
You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide gas. Inhaling it can cause serious illness or death, so it is important to protect yourself and your family by having carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of everyone in your home, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
What do the sounds mean?
· A continuous set of four loud beeps—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Go outside, call 9-1-1 and stay out.
· A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be replaced.
· CO alarms also have “end of life” sounds that vary by manufacturer. This means it’s time to get a new CO alarm.
· Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced.
For more information on carbon monoxide, the symptoms of exposure, and how to install and maintain alarms, please click here.