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Personal Home Safety Checklist

Has the Home Fire Safety Program already been to your home?

Completing the personal home safety checklist in the back of your information package will help you identify any hazards that may exist in your home that could increase your chances of a home fire.

If you have answered 'no' to any of the questions on your personal home safety checklist, find solutions to each hazard below:

Do you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home?

  • Smoke alarms are the only way to alert you of a fire while you are sleeping.
  • You should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including outside of all sleeping areas.

Have you tested your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are working?

  • Testing your smoke alarms once a month is a quick and easy process to ensure your system is working!
  • Simply press the “test” button on your smoke alarm to hear the alert.

Do you have a working carbon monoxide alarm in your home?

  • A carbon monoxide detector can protect you from exposure to the deadly, poisonous gas.
  • Sources of CO in home can come from gas or oil furnaces, hot water heaters, gas stoves, fireplaces, wood-stoves, clogged or leaky chimneys and exhaust ducts.

Do you have a home escape plan?

  • Home escape plans are important to ensure all residents know how to safely evacuate the home during an emergency or fire.
  • All residents and house guests should know the plan!

Have you practiced your home escape plan with your family?

  • Practice your home escape plan twice a year, placing the “fire” in different areas of your home.
  • Children will instinctively hide at the sight of a fire or emergency. Practicing your plan regularly will remind children to evaluate the home and meet at the muster point.

Do you have a portable fire extinguisher in your home?

  • A standard “2-A: 10-B: C” rated fire extinguisher is good for a home as it is suitable for combustible liquids and solids and electrical fires.
  • Fire extinguishers can be purchased at most big-box and hardware outlets
  • Place your fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location that is adjacent to your kitchen.

Do you know how to use a portable fire extinguisher?

  • Use the P.A.S.S. technique when using your home fire extinguisher, after sources of ignition have been turned off (e.g. turning off the stove or oven):
    • Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher
    • Aim at the base of the fire
    • Squeeze the handle
    • Sweep the extinguisher matter across the base of the fire

Is your home address visible during the day and night from the street?

  • For our emergency personnel, having a visible home address makes for a more efficient and quicker response time.
  • Avoid blocking your home number by trees or other plants, and consider having your outside light on at night to maintain visibility.

Are candles on a sturdy base, and away from combustibles?

  • Left unattended, candles can be a fire hazard for your home. Many home products are combustible, such as curtains, cushions or bedding.
  • Make sure that candles are placed on flat surfaces that are away from children and combustible materials.

Do you blow out your candles before leaving the room?

  • Blowing out your candles when not present is an easy way to prevent home fire.
  • Before leaving the candle, ensure that the flame is extinguished. The candle is safe to leave when the black smoke is visible.

Are matches and lighters out of reach of children?

  • As children like to play with fire, it is advised that these materials be hidden, and out of sight.
  • Place matches, lighters and any flammable materials in high places or in locked cabinets.

Are products like gasoline and propane stored safely outside?

  • Store all combustible gas and liquids in a well ventilated area. Have propane tanks securely attached to the barbeque at all times, while keeping spare propane tanks away from the barbeque and home.
  • Store gasoline canisters in a shaded area, away from sunlight.
  • It is important to keep these items away from children.

Are space heaters used safely?

  • Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from household combustibles.
  • Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. These devices are not intended to replace the home's heating system.
  • Do not use extension cords with space heaters.
  • Inspect the heater's cord periodically to look for frayed wire or damaged insulation. Do not use a space heater with a damaged cord.
  • Have a smoke alarm installed in the room to allow for proper fire safety.

If you have a fireplace, is it properly screened?

  • With indoor fireplaces, it is important to routinely clean the fireplace and all accessories to eliminate an accumulation of soot, ashes, and creosote tars.
  • Wood burning fireplaces should always have a metal mesh screen that keeps embers from getting out of the fireplace area.
  • Some fireplaces also have glass doors in addition to metal mesh screens. While the fire is burning, keep the glass doors open to ensure proper air flow, but when the fire is out, keep the glass doors closed.
  • Use fire-resistant materials around all fireplaces.
  • Have a smoke alarm installed in the room to allow for proper fire safety.

Do you have a permit from the Fire Prevention Branch for your stationary backyard fire pit?

  • The Fire Prevention Branch of Regional Emergency Services permits all backyard fire pits; all backyard fire pits must have a permit in accordance with Municipal bylaw GL6/96.
  • Obtain a fire pit permit.
  • Are gas appliances routinely and properly maintained?

    • When buying natural gas appliances, it is important to make sure they are Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved by looking for their logo on the appliance
    • Make sure that equipment such as furnaces, boilers, water heaters, fire places, and stoves are adequately ventilated
    • Never place aluminum foil at the bottom of an oven to catch spills, as this has been noted to block heat circulation vents. Rather, use a baking sheet underneath the dish
    • Have furnaces inspected annually by a professional.
    • If you think that your furnace is deficient, or producing carbon monoxide, AtcoGas provides a free inspection for your unit.

    Are you aware of the hazards of overloading electrical outlets?

    • Overloaded electrical outlets can result from having too many extension cords and electrical splitters plugged into an outlet.
    • To avoid fires associated with electrical overload, try to restrict usage of extension cords and splitters as much as possible.
    • Consult an electrician to make sure that your home’s wiring still meets safety ratings.

    Is the kitchen area free of hazards?

  • As the kitchen is an area of high hazard with stoves, ovens and sharp objects, it is important to keep the kitchen area clean and that all ovens/stoves are turned off when not in use. It’s that easy!
  • This obvious, but easy suggestion can end up saving thousands of dollars of repairs and potential fire damage.

Do you stay in the kitchen while cooking, never leaving your pan unattended?

  • Kitchen fires can start within seconds, especially with the right mix of ingredients, such as adequate air flow and fuel (like oil and combustible materials adjacent to the cooking area).
  • When cooking with oils, it is especially important to make sure that the area around the stove is clear.
  • Keep pot/pan handles facing inward to avoid having bumping the pot/pan off the stove
  • Educate children on the importance of staying away from the stove and oven while in use, as children are inevitably curious.

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