At Bow Valley Insurance, our recommended first measure against fires, whether you rent or own the place you live, is to be adequately insured. You can have the peace of mind that you are well covered, especially when we have fifteen nationally recognised companies ready to compete for your business.
Have An Alert
These days, there is simply no excuse for not having several smoke detectors in your home. Ideally, you’d have a smoke detector in every bedroom and in other rooms where fires are common, such as near the kitchen or laundry room, or in rooms heated by stoves and fireplaces.
It should be noted that scientific studies have shown that as many as 80% of children are not awakened by commonly available smoke detectors. Particularly if you have younger children, you may want to investigate buying smoke detectors that use multiple ways to alert, such as sound and light, or even allow you to record your voice onto a microchip shouting the child’s name and a wake up command. And as homes in Alberta are heated by natural gas, you should have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home as well.
Plan The Escape
The Canada Safety Council recommends drawing up a fire escape action plan that includes the following elements:
- Draw a floor plan of your home and mark upon it at least two ways out of each room.
- Establish a rally point outside of your home, such as at a neighbour’s front lawn, where you can do a head count.
- Ensure that each family member knows the escape plan.
- Execute your plan as a drill periodically. Practice it seriously and train children to stay low to avoid smoke and forestall panic over an inability to breathe.
- When you conduct a drill once or twice a year, be sure to vary the exercise. Start the imaginary fire at different places in your home. If you have bored teens, you can quiz them about attempting to extinguish “straightforward” fires, such as occur on the stovetop.
- When you are satisfied that your plan works and is understood, make a copy of the escape plan and place it somewhere everyone can see it regularly.
- Make it sure when you employ a sitter that the plan is known to the provider.
Prevention is the Best Firefighter
Most of the common sources of house fires are from entirely preventable causes. By exercising a bit of common sense care, and by not allowing small maintenance problems become fire hazards, you may never have to test your fire escape plan. Here are easy steps you can take:
- Don’t store easily flammable materials near furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, or wood stoves.
- Regularly clean out not only your dryer’s lint trap but vacuum the exhaust hose and exterior vent as well.
- Keep matches, lighters and other ignition sources away from children who cannot be trusted with such things.
- In this modern day it’s also prudent to take your portable devices off of charge after they are fully powered.
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