When a problem occurs, you need to be aware of the right action to take. Sometimes a few seconds make all the difference.
Here are some prevention tips that can help you avoid the worst:
A smoke alarm is the best way to save lives. Check its operation regularly, both battery and electric.
Replace the battery periodically (usually twice a year) or, if possible, use extended life batteries like lithium batteries.
Never remove the battery from the alarm or disconnect it, even when it goes off accidentally. Instead, use the mute button on the unit.
Never use rechargeable batteries.
Replace alarms according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually after 10 years. The date of manufacture or expiration is indicated on the cover. If there’s no date, don’t take chances—replace the alarm immediately.
Check the alarm once a month by pressing the test button. Expose it to smoke from a stick of incense or a candle once a year to see that it’s working properly.
Pass a vacuum cleaner over the outside and inside of the alarm cover at least once a year.
Do not paint it.
Store them outside or in a detached storage unit. Protect them from the weather and place them at least one metre from any building doors and windows. The following are some tips to avoid problems.
Place your barbecue in a stable, well-ventilated area, away from electrical wires, walls, trees and plants
Never leave an appliance unsupervised
Never let young children play around an appliance
Do not move when lit
In case of fire:
First turn off the grill using the tap on the propane cylinder
Once the gas is burnt off and the flame is out, turn the ignition control to OFF
Although very popular because of its comforting warmth, wood heating poses risks, especially in winter.
Make certain to clean the chimney and to remove the crusty creosote deposit formed by smoke that is highly flammable. It adheres to the walls of the chimney.
In case of fire:
Close the vent
Leave your home immediately
Call 911 from a neighbour’s
Note that the portable, 2A-10BC dry chemical fire extinguisher is ideal for residences. It is suitable for all types of fires that may occur in a home or office. However, they discharge very quickly and cannot substitute for the equipment and training of the Fire Department.
Therefore, make sure you report the fire. If the smoke gets too dense, leave the area.
When an appliance malfunctions or is used in an enclosed or poorly ventilated space, poisoning from carbon monoxide can occur. To avoid such a situation:
Have a professional contractor verify the proper operation of your heating system
When replacing the heating system, make sure that the flue pipe from the old system is compatible with the new system, and if not, complete the necessary work to change it
Make an evacuation plan for your home. It should consist of a drawing of each floor of the home and should be thoroughly familiar to everyone living there.
The following steps are recommended:
Indicate all the doors and windows that can be used as emergency exits
Mark all possible routes to the outside
Choose a place where you can meet up once you’re out
Note the location of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
Make a plan for helping people in your home who will need assistance
Display the plan for all to see
Conduct a practice drill once a year
If you need to evacuate your home:
Crawl on all fours along the walls if there’s smoke
Close doors behind you
Touch doors with the back of your hand to detect heat
Place a towel or cushion at the bottom of a door if smoke is entering the room