Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fire Prevention Week family safety tips #firesafety

Oct. 11, 2012
Ministry of Justice

Fire Prevention Week: Tips to keep your family safe

VICTORIA - Fire safety in every home should begin with a plan - one that includes having two ways out and a well-maintained, working smoke alarm.

During Fire Prevention Week (October 7 - 13), British Columbians should take the time to sit down with their family and talk about how to be fire safe at home.

Fire Chiefs' Association of BC research shows fatality rates rise 74 percent when there is not a working smoke alarm. As well, household fires are much more likely to prove fatal for seniors, persons with disabilities and low-income families; those in rural communities and on First Nations reserves; and families where one child or more is present. That is why families are encouraged to plan two ways to escape in the event of a fire.

Important Safety Tips:

* Identify two routes to exit your household in case of a fire and establish a safe meeting place where your family will gather.

* Practice makes perfect: review and test your escape plans with your family so everyone is ready.

* Install smoke alarms on each level of your home - including one in each sleeping area - and maintain them properly. That means testing alarms monthly, cleaning them every six months and replacing them every 10 years.

* Landlords and apartment managers have a responsibility to install, inspect and maintain smoke alarms in rental units. If the building was built before 1979 and the smoke alarms are not connected to the electrical system, the batteries must be replaced every 12 months.

* Tenants should notify their landlord immediately if their smoke alarm(s) are not in proper working order. Tenants should install their own temporary battery-powered smoke alarm in the event there is not sufficient smoke alarm protection in their unit.

* Cooking is a major cause of home fires in B.C. A stovetop fire can start in a flash, so stay in the kitchen when something is cooking on the stove or in the microwave.

* Overloaded circuits and octopus wiring are dangerous electrical hazards that can be avoided. Use a power bar with a circuit breaker and surge protector to plug in computer and stereo equipment.

* Avoid the use of extension cords as permanent wiring, and make sure electrical cords are not concealed under carpets or rugs where they can be easily damaged.
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