Fire Escape Planning

 In a fire … seconds count!

 

How long do you have to escape from a fire in your home?
When people were asked this question in a recent survey, they answered in ways that surprised us. Many estimated they had more than 10 minutes to escape a home fire. The truth is, you may have much less time to escape.
A typical living room fire can threaten the entire house in just a few minutes, producing life-threatening conditions in upstairs bedrooms less than two minutes after the smoke alarm sounds. Your family needs to know how to get out at the first sign of a fire.

Don’t wait, plan your escape today!

Print out your own escape plan grid and have the whole family help with the planning. Or draw your own floor plan on a piece of paper.
Mark two ways out of every room and include windows on your plan. Every member of your household should be part of the planning. Pick a meeting place outside. Tell everyone to meet there after they’ve escaped. That way you can count heads and tell the fire department if anyone’s trapped inside.

Practice it!

Plans are great, but the only way to know if they work is to practice them. Hold a home fire drill. Getting out of your own home sounds easy, but your home can look very different if it’s full of smoke. Children in particular need to practice what to do. Have someone press the button on the smoke alarm as the signal for the drill to start.
Remember that a fire drill is not a race. Get out quickly, but carefully. Everyone should go to the meeting place. Make time to plan and practice your family’s great escape today!

Always Remember…

  1. First, get out!
  2. Call the Fire Department from a neighbour’s home – dial 911.
  3. Don’t go back into a burning building.
  4. If you think someone is trapped inside, tell the firefighters when they arrive.
  5. When a fire starts…you only have seconds to react, so plan your escape!

Children & Fire Safety

 Any time a child plays with fire, the outcome can be deadly. The National Fire Protection Association reports that just over half of the child-playing with matches of lighters fires in the home are started in a bedroom. This leads us to the statistic indicating that fires are the leading cause of death in the home for children under the age of five.

You can prevent most fire setting by following these three steps:

 

Step 1: Teach your child about fire

  • Fire is a tool we use to heat our homes or cook our food
  • Fire is not a toy
  • If matches or lighters are found, give them to an adult
  • Even adults must follow special safety rules for fire

Step 2: Control your child’s access to fire

  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
  • Never allow the unsafe use of lighters or matches in your home
  • Never leave cooking or candles unattended
  • Teach children to bring found matches and lighters to you or another grown-up

Step 3: Set a good example

  • Install and maintain smoke alarms
  • Plan and practice your home fire escape plan
  • Regularly inspect your home for fire hazards
  • Teach children to “Stop, Drop & Roll,” should their clothing catch on fire

The following is a list of “Red Flags” or indicators that your child may have a serious fire-setting problem. If your child has set more than one fire or has had more than one incident of fireplay and one or more of the following, you are encouraged to seek professional help:

  • Recent changes in behavior
  • Attention deficits, temper tantrums, mood swings, impulsive behavior or excessive anger
  • Problems at school, such as discipline, learning problems or unexplained absences
  • Other troublesome behaviors such as stealing, lying, and drug or alcohol use
  • Deliberate efforts to collect fire materials
  • Failed to get help to extinguish a fire
  • Shows extreme curiosity about fire
  • Recent losses due to health, divorce, loss of friendships, move, etc.
  • History of being abused or neglected
  • Sad, withdrawn appearance
  • Poor self esteem and family stresses
  • Daydreams about fire
  • Boasts about setting fires
  • Aggressive behavior toward people or animals
  • Behaviors indicating he/she is a loner, a risk taker or a fighter
  • Fire set deliberately to harm others or to destroy property
  • Fire set out of anger or in response to a family problem

It is important not to frighten or scare your child. Don’t punish him/her for being curious about the world and the fascinating things in it. These tactics don’t work because they don’t teach your child anything about fire.

Instead, talk to your child in a calm, assured manner, explaining your worry for his/her safety. If assistance from the Fire Department is required, please call 902-394-1803.

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What is Carbon Monoxide? And How You Can Protect Yourself

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. It’s produced by the incomplete burning of fuels like natural gas, propane, heating oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood due to inadequate air.
Improperly installed or poorly maintained appliances that run on these fuels can create unsafe levels of CO. In enclosed spaces like your home, cottage or vehicle, even a small amount of CO is dangerous.

What are the Symptoms of CO poisoning?

Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, burning eyes, confusion, drowsiness and even loss of consciousness. In severe cases, it can cause brain damage and death.

Older persons, children, people with heart or respiratory conditions and pets may be more sensitive to it, and feel the effects earlier than others.

Why is Carbon Monoxide So Deadly?

Because you cannot see, smell or taste it, poisoning can happen to anyone, any time, anywhere. That is why carbon monoxide is often referred to as the “Silent Killer.”

How Can You Protect Yourself in the Home?

  1. Regular maintenance and cleaning of all fuel burning appliances by a qualified technician at least once a year.
  2. Regular inspections and cleaning by a qualified technician of all vent pipes and chimney flues at least once a year.
  3. Install at least one carbon monoxide detector in your home, preferably on the same level as bedrooms.