Practice makes perfect! Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire, including how to escape in an emergency situation. It's best if you practice your escape plan twice a year.
Fire Safety Tips:
• Install smoke detectors. Check smoke detectors once a month and change the batteries at least once a year. At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of your home.
• Try to avoid combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke rises, so the best place for a smoke detector is on the ceiling. Carbon monoxide stays low, so the best place for a carbon monoxide detector is near, but not beside, your furnace. A combination unit often can’t address both situations.
• Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Emergency escape from a second story window may involve using a home fire safety ladder. Any practice with a ladder should be closely supervised by an adult, from a first floor window only.
• Test windows and doors. Do they operate easily, even in the winter? Can every member of the family open them? Are they large enough to get out? Nothing should stand in the way of you and a safe, quick exit!
• Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the smoke generated by a fire may obstruct vision.
• Choose a safe family meeting place outside and away from the house. Pick a neighbour’s house, a tree, or a telephone pole. Pick a location far enough away from your home, so that no one is in danger. Call the fire department to report the fire once you are safely outside.
• Always sleep with bedroom doors closed. This will keep deadly heat and smoke out of bedrooms, giving you additional time to escape.
• Find a way for everyone to sound a family alarm, such as yelling, pounding on walls, whistling. Keep a noisemaker (whistle or bell) and a flashlight in each bedroom.
• Learn to stop, drop to the ground and roll if clothes catch fire.
• In a fire, time is critical. Don’t waste time getting dressed, don’t search for pets or valuables. Just get out!
• Remind all family members to roll out of bed and stay low. During a fire, cleaner air will be near the floor. If you must exit through smoke, crawl on your hands and knees keeping your head 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 cm) above the floor.
• Close doors. As you exit your home, close all doors behind you to slow the spread of the fire and smoke.
• Feel the door, around the doorframe, and the space between the door and frame with the back of your hand to see if it is warm. If it is warm, that means the fire is nearby. To be safe, use your second way out.
• Remind your family members to never go back into a burning building.