Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms, and advanced planning - a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced.
You need to be prepared if a fire strikes your home. Please take a few minutes with your family to make a fire escape plan by following the nine simple instructions listed below. Every household must have a fire escape plan and a working smoke alarm to help ensure survival in a fire. Begin your plan by checking your smoke alarm to make sure that it is working. The smoke alarm will wake you up if a fire occurs while you are asleep.
1. Draw a floor plan of your home
2. Include all possible emergency exits
3. Include any important features that could help with your escape
4. Mark two escape routes from each room
5. Remember - some people may need help to escape
6. Choose a place outside where everyone will meet
7. Call the fire department from a neighbour's home or a cell phone
8. Make sure everyone is familiar with the home escape plan
9. Practise your escape plan
Did you know that most fatal house fires occur during sleeping hours giving people little time to react? Be prepared and safe!
CAUSES OF FIRES
Common causes of fires at home include:
- careless smoking
- improperly installed or improperly maintained wood stoves
- faulty wiring
- careless use of cooking equipment
- careless use of flammable liquids
PREVENTING FIRES AT HOME
- install smoke alarms
- have a home escape plan
- install fire extinguishers
- plan your escape route
WHAT TO DO IF A FIRE OCCURS IN YOUR HOME
- stay low since smoke rises, leaving fresh air at floor level
- do not open doors or windows that indicate signs of hear or smoke seepage
- stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches on fire
- once you are safe, call 911 from the nearest phone
- do not re-enter the building
FACTS ABOUT FIRE SAFETY
fires can double in size approximately every 30 - 60 seconds (a $20,000 kitchen fire can become a $160,000 house fire in less than three minutes
in 8 minutes a fire can grow by 64 times
progression of a structural fire to the point of "flashover" (the very rapid spreading of the fire due to super heating of the room contents and other combustibles) generally occurs in 7 - 10 minutes
for medical aid calls, basic life support should be initiated within 4 minutes
a reduction of only 2 to 3 minutes in the completion of a rescue operation could increase a fire victim's survivability by 8 times
a minimum acceptable staffing consists of 4 fire fighters on the first responding pumper
fire fighting has been, and always will be, labour intensive; reducing fire fighters equates to reducing levels of service, which equates to a lower level of safety
as response times increase, public safety decreases
Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a reported fire in half.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless, and tasteless poisonous gas referred to as 'the silent killer'. You need a CO detector if you have an attached garage, wood or gas fireplace, or anyone of these gas appliances: furnace, water heater or range.
effective March 1, 2006 it is the law for all Ontario homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas
over 90% of residential fires are preventable
an injury is reported in 1 out of every 17 preventable home fires and not all injuries are reported
1 out of every 100 preventable residential fires is a fatal fire
if anyone in the household sleeps with the bedroom door closed, install an alarm inside their bedroom
never remove the batteries from smoke alarms; if nuisance alarms are a problem, try moving the alarm to another location or purchase an alarm with a hush feature that temporarily silences the alarm
replace smoke alarms every 10 years
test smoke alarms once a month a replace the batteries every year
make sure everyone in the house knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds; develop a home fire escape plan and practice it with the entire household
CO is produced when fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood, propane and kerosene don't get enough air to burn up completely. The best defence is proper maintenance of fuel burning appliances, equipment and venting systems.
CO alarms are the only way to determine if carbon monoxide is present - other than physical symptoms similar to the flue - nausea, headache, burning eyes, confusion and drowsiness - except there is no fever. If symptoms appear, it is imperative to get everyone, include pets, outside to fresh air immediately and call 911.
Since CO detectors do not detect fire or smoke and smoke alarms do not detect CO, your home needs both CO and smoke alarms.
It is essential that you install CO and smoke alarms on every level of your home or cottage in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. There are units available that combine the function of both CO and smoke alarms into one device.
Remember to test your alarms once a month by pressing the test button on the units. Batteries need to be replaced twice per year.
The Ontario Fire Marshal recommends that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 7-10 years.
WHEN SIRENS APPROACH
ON A MULTI-LANE HIGHWAY (MAX 100KM/H SPEED LIMIT)
Slow down, signal and move to the right. If possible, pull as close as you can to the right side of the roadway and stop when safe to do so. Do not move onto the shoulder.
ON A TWO-LANE ROAD
Signal and move to the right. Pull as close as possible to the right edge of the road, clear of any intersection, and stop.
ON A ONE-WAY STREET
Signal and pull to the right or left side of the street, clear of any intersection and stop.
Traffic in an intersection or approaching from all directions must yield to an emergency vehicle until it passes through the intersection. Never block the intersection. Do not make a left turn if an emergency vehicle is approaching from behind. In this situation, the motorist should proceed straight through the intersection, then pull to the right and stop.
FIRST AID TRAINING
North Dumfries Fire Department now offers a First Aid and CPR training course.
First Aid & CPR training is mandatory for employees in the workplace; but, unlike most other types of safety training, these skills and knowledge are also applicable to an individual's daily life. This is why we teach people First Aid & CPR in easy-to-follow steps, empowering them to act on, prevent and manage life's emergencies.
Practical hands-on components are supported by a variety of training materials, based on course requirements, such as: mannequins for practising CPR, AED trainers, bandages, splinting materials, barrier devices, first aid kits, auto-injector trainers, inhalers, etc. All Canadian Red Cross programs meet the latest International guidelines and follow strict quality control guidelines and procedures for content development, update and delivery.