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October is Fire Prevention Month and serves as a great reminder to prepare a home safety checklist
Creating a home safety checklist and practising your fire escape plan can help protect your home and family from the danger of smoke, fire and carbon monoxide (CO).
Here are some tips to help make your home safer:
Start with ensuring that your home is equipped with working alarms. Smoke alarms are the first line of defense for fire prevention. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing smoke alarms inside every bedroom and on every level of the home, including the basement. CO is an invisible, odorless and potentially fatal gas, and the only way to detect it is with working CO alarms, which should be installed near every sleeping area and on every level of the home.
Make it part of your routine to regularly test and replace your alarms once they reach the end of their useful life: 10 years for smoke alarms and up to 10 years for CO alarms, depending on the model.
The First Alert 10-Year Sealed Battery Combination Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm provides 2-in-1 protection against both smoke and CO and is also equipped with a sealed 10-year battery, eliminating the need for battery replacements for up to a decade.
Keep fire extinguishers on hand and learn how to properly use them. Fire extinguishers should be placed in common spaces like the kitchen and garage, and on every level of the home. Place extinguishers where each adult member of the household can easily reach them, like under a kitchen sink or mounted to a wall.
In the event a small, controllable fire breaks out, a simple way to remember proper fire extinguisher usage is with the acronym PASS: Pull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the lever and Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Ensure that everyone in the household knows what to do and where to go in case your smoke or CO alarms sound. Make sure your plan includes two exits out of each room; you may need to equip second-floor bedrooms with escape ladders. With your household, choose a meeting spot outside that is a safe distance from the home, and do not go back inside until fire officials clear your home for safe re-entry. Practise your escape plan at least twice a year.
To learn more about home safety products and escape planning tips, visit firstalert.ca.
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