House fires can happen, even when you’re careful. Your dinner could burn up on the stovetop and quickly get out of hand. An electrical surge in a power strip could ignite and light nearby objects up in flames. Your neighbour’s house could catch fire, and the flames could spread to your property.
You can’t stop disaster from striking, but you can prepare for it. How? The best way to do that is to fill your home with these essential fire safety tools.
Fire extinguishers can help you stop a small fire from spreading into a catastrophe. You should have multiple types of fire extinguishers in your home. Keep them close to areas that are at higher risk of fires, like kitchens, furnace rooms and living rooms with fireplaces.
Sometimes, a fire extinguisher isn’t your best tool against an early fire—this is true for grease fires. You can extinguish a grease fire by smothering it with baking soda or salt. To keep your kitchen safe, place a container of baking soda or salt near your stovetop so that you can grab it the second your food goes up in flames.
A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet is a specialized circuit breaker that can protect your home from electrical fires. The outlet automatically shuts off power when it detects an imbalance in the electrical current.
GFCI outlets should be installed by professional electricians. This is not a DIY project.
Do you have seniors living in your home? Or maybe someone who has limited mobility? In that case, you will want to have an emergency escape chair accessible at your stairwell in case of a house fire. After being secured to the emergency escape chair, a helper can guide it down flights of stairs and out of the building. These types of escape chairs can be useful in other types of disasters like power outages, floods or gas leaks.
According to the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, by law, every home in the province should have working smoke alarms on each storey. There should be an alarm outside of sleeping areas (bedrooms and guestrooms). Smoke alarms are necessary for fire safety because they can warn the entire household of the danger immediately and give them time to evacuate the premises. This is important for moments where people may be unaware that a fire is starting, like when they’re fast asleep.
You should test your smoke alarms every month to see whether they’re in working condition. You should also replace the batteries at least once per year. This is not a chore that you want to forget.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is incredibly dangerous because it is near-impossible to detect on your own. It is a colourless, odourless gas that can infiltrate your home without you realizing it. If you come into contact with too much of the gas, you could get carbon monoxide poisoning — this can be fatal.
Carbon monoxide is created by burning fuel without proper ventilation, whether it’s from a furnace, water heater or fireplace. Homeowners should run regular maintenance on these devices to guarantee that they’re burning fuel properly.
The best way to detect this colorless, odorless, tasteless gas is with the help of carbon monoxide detectors. At the very least, your home should have one working detector. Test it every month with your smoke alarms and replace the batteries once per year.
These tools are essential for keeping you and your family safe from house fires. Don’t go without them.