Room-By-Room

There are many fire and carbon monoxide risks throughout a home. Take a look through our Room-by-Room section to plan your home's safety from top to bottom.

 
Room-By-Room

Potential fire and carbon monoxide (CO) danger zones in and around your home are widespread. Many, if not all of the dangers, relate to behaviour. Our maintenance routines, how we store things, our commitment to teaching children safety fundamentals – all these things and more have a direct impact on our safety.

Get familiar with the dangers, and be proactive in your routines and your product choices to reduce fire and CO risks, and to ensure you have ample warning in the case of an emergency.

Safety in the Kitchen

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Cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Kitchen fires are often fast-spreading and very destructive. Knowing how to prevent them is the first step in being safe, but accidents do happen, so it is just as important to know what to do if a fire starts in the kitchen.

  • Arm Your Kitchen
    • Choose a PHOTOELECTRIC SMOKE ALARM, which best detects the fast-flaming fires that typically start in the kitchen. Install it near your kitchen – not right in your kitchen – to reduce nuisance alarms caused by cooking. As well, ensure that your smoke alarm has a “Hush” button that allows you to temporarily silence a false alarm to clear the air, while keeping your family safe should a real fire breaks out.
    • NEVER remove the batteries from a smoke alarm, or take it off the ceiling, to silence a nuisance alarm.
    • Equip your kitchen with a BC-rated fire extinguisher and locate it within reach, but in a cupboard away from main cooking surfaces, in case of fire.
  • What to do in case of a Kitchen Fire
    • NEVER POUR WATER on a grease or oil fire. Water causes grease fires to spread. Use your BC-rated fire extinguisher to extinguish kitchen fires if they are small and contained.
    • Smother A FLAMING POT. If a pot catches fire, put on a pot mitt and carefully slide a lid over the pot to smother the flames, then turn off the stove. Ideally, also move the pot to an element that is cold.
    • CONTAIN FIRES in ovens and microwaves. If a fire starts in the oven or microwave, close the door immediately and keep it closed. Turn off the appliance and unplug the microwave if it is safe to do so.
    • If you are unsure that you can handle the fire safely, EVACUATE your house immediately and call for help once safely outside.
  • Tips to Prevent Kitchen Fires
    • STAY IN THE KITCHEN when cooking. Never leave the room and never leave your home while food is on the stove or in the oven or microwave.
    • Keep the STOVE AND SURROUNDING AREA clear to prevent accidents. Dish towels, pot holders, curtains and aprons can catch fire easily.
    • Turn pot handles TOWARDS THE CENTRE of the stove. A pot handle turned out can easily be bumped by an adult or accidentally pulled down by a child.
    • Never wear LOOSE CLOTHING while cooking. Roll up your sleeves or choose short or tight-fitting sleeves.
    • Always HEAT OIL SLOWLY over moderate heat. High heat and oil are a dangerous combination!
    • TURN OFF all stove and oven elements and other cooking devices as soon as you have finished cooking.

Safety in Sleeping Areas

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Most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep.  Often, lacking working smoke alarms, victims never wake up.  Or due to darkness, sleepiness or intoxication, panic and confusion set in.

  • Arm Your Sleeping Areas
    • Install IONIZATION OR COMBINATION smoke alarms outside all sleeping areas or inside each bedroom if you sleep with doors closed.  As well, install a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm outside all sleeping areas.
    • If your home has MORE THAN ONE STOREY, and especially if you sleep on the second or higher floor, keep a fire escape ladder either under the bed or in a linen closet near a window.
    • Create and practise an ESCAPE PLAN with the entire family that shows two routes out of every room (where possible).
  • What to do in case of a Sleeping Area Fire
    • Yell to WARN OTHERS and execute your Escape Plan as practised.
    • Evacuate the home as quickly as possible, assemble at your agreed Meeting Place, and call 911 for help.
  • Tips to Prevent a Sleeping Area Fire
    • Place all candles in STURDY HOLDERS that won’t burn or allow wax to drip onto tables, floors or rugs. Keep them away from flammable materials such as curtains, books or posters and fully extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
    • Do not allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms, and KEEP AN EYE ON PETS that may brush against a candle.
    • Ensure all ELECTRICAL AND EXTENSION CORDS are in good condition. Replace frayed or damaged cords.  Do NOT run cords under carpets or heavy furniture where they may become frayed or damaged.
    • In winter, make sure SPACE HEATERS are at least one meter away from anything that can burn. Turn all space heaters off every time you leave the room or go to bed. Remove space heaters from children’s rooms completely when the kids go to bed.
    • Smoking and sleeping don’t mix. Even if you feel wide awake, DO NOT SMOKE IN OR AROUND YOUR BED.  If you feel yourself getting drowsy, extinguish smoking materials immediately.

Safety in the Garage

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Even if your garage is detached from your home, a fire that starts there can easily spread.

Be extra careful in your garage, as it is normally where you store equipment and materials, many of which can be flammable.

  • Arm Your Garage

    Keep an ABC-RATED FIRE EXTINGUISHER within reach of your garage work areas to fight small, contained fires.

  • Tips to Prevent a Garage Fire
    • Handle gasoline and other highly FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS carefully, keep them out of sight from children, and never store them near possible ignition sources. Store only in approved safety containers, and replace worn or damaged containers immediately.  Clean any spills thoroughly at once.
    • Follow all MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS when using power tools and equipment (those with batteries or connected to an electrical outlet) especially near gasoline or flammable liquids.
    • Remove your vehicle from the garage as soon as you start it. An idling vehicle emits dangerous carbon monoxide. NEVER RUN YOUR VEHICLE INSIDE THE GARAGE, even if the garage is open or well-ventilated.
  • What to Do In Case of Fire

    EVACUATE the garage as quickly as possible, assemble at your agreed meeting place and call 911 for help.

Safety in the Basement

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While the basement may not be the place you and your family spend the most time, it still poses serious fire hazards.

  • Arm Your Basement
    • Ensure you have a WORKING smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in the basement area to warn you and your family of danger.
    • DO NOT install the carbon monoxide alarm in the furnace room!
    • Have an ABC-RATED FIRE EXTINGUISHER within reach to fight small, contained fires.
  • Tips to Prevent a Basement Fire
    • Keep your furnace and chimney maintained. HAVE A PROFESSIONAL inspect your furnace and fireplace and all venting annually. Replace any parts as soon as required or recommended by a qualified technician.
    • STORE flammable materials with care. Keep materials such as paint thinner or lighter fluid in the original containers or approved safety containers. Keep all flammable liquids and fire-starting materials well out of the reach of children at all times.
  • What to Do In Case of Fire
    • Yell to WARN OTHERS and execute your Escape Plan as practised.
    • EVACUATE the home as quickly as possible, assemble at your agreed meeting place and call for help.

Safety at the Cottage

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Many Canadians enjoy going to the cottage to “get away from it all.” But you must use the same diligence when protecting your family from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning at the cottage, as you do at home.

  • Arm Your Cottage
    • EQUIP YOUR cottage as you would your home. Install smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms on every storey and outside sleeping areas.  Place fire extinguishers within reach, as well.
    •  If you sleep with DOORS CLOSED, install alarms inside bedrooms.
    •  If you leave your cottage for long periods of time, or close it for the season, ALWAYS INSPECT AND TEST alarms immediately upon returning, including batteries.
    •  Be as familiar with the exits from your cottage and outbuildings as you are with those at home, and create an Escape Plan. SHARE IT with visiting guests.
  • Tips to Prevent a Cottage Fire
    • POSITION YOUR BARBECUE or grill away from the cottage, deck, and all high-traffic and play areas. Use long-handled tools and keep hands and clothing clear of flames and grease spatters. Clean the grill well each time you use it, and replace worn barbecue parts immediately.
    • Store BBQ starter fluid, propane tanks, gasoline for small equipment and other flammables well away from the grill area and the cottage, and keep safely OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
    • Monitor propane or natural gas hoses carefully FOR LEAKS, and replace worn or damaged parts promptly.
    • Light camp fires in a clear area away from the cottage, other buildings or trees and in a WELL-DEFINED FIRE PIT. Keep all fires controlled, and children well back and away from smoke.
  • What to Do In Case of Fire
    • Yell to warn others and execute your Escape Plan as practised. Call for help and be sure to KNOW YOUR EXACT ADDRESS as cellular location services may not be available/reliable in remote areas.
    • On WATERCRAFT, use a fire extinguisher to contain and fight small fires or abandon the craft and swim to safety, using appropriate emergency and signaling techniques to call for help.