Fire Safety Tips
- Appliances and Electronics (3)
- Ashes (1)
- Barbecuing (1)
- Candles (3)
- CFL Bulbs (6)
- Christmas Trees (1)
- Clothing Dryers (1)
- Cooking Fires (2)
- Decorations (1)
- Deep Fried Turkey (1)
- Extension Cords (1)
- Fire Extinguishers (4)
- Generators (1)
- Halloween (1)
- Lightening (1)
- Lights (1)
- Medical Oxygen (1)
- Propane Transportation (1)
- Sprinklers (5)
Appliances and Electronics
Extension cords are for temporary use, not continuous use. Plug appliances directly into wall. Have a certified electrician install more receptacle outlets.
A ground fault circuit interrupter is an electrical device installed to protect against severe electric shocks. A GFCI constantly monitors the electrical current passing through a circuit. They should be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, garages and outdoor receptacles.
What should I do if there are sparks coming from my electrical outlet? I get a tingle when I touch an electrical appliance? My outlets are warm? my lights are flicking and dimming? I smell a rubbery smell coming from my appliance?
Shut off the breaker or fuse and call a qualified electrician.
- Never store ashes indoors.
- Do not place ashes from fireplace, wood stove, furnaces in carts, boxes or bags.
- Ashes should be collected in a metal container and stored outside away the home a minimum of 5 meters away from any combustibles.
- On collection day transfer cold ashes to appropriate containers according to Waste Watch requirements.
- Use propane or charcoal grills outdoors.
- Keep grills away from combustibles, branches, eves and siding.
- Never leave grill unattended.
- Keep lid open before lighting grill.
- Keep grill clean and remove grease.
- If using a charcoal bbq use only charcoal starter fluid.
- Let coals cool completely before placing in a metal container.
- If using a propane bbq for the first time this year check hose for leaks.
- Check for leaks by applying a soap & water solution to the hose.
- A propane leak will release bubbles.
- If there is a leak and there is no flame turn off the gas tank and grill.
- If the leak stops get it serviced by a professional before using.
- If the leak does not stop call the fire department.
- If you smell gas while cooking move away from the grill and call fire department.
- Do not move grill.
Keep candles 1 meter away from combustibles.
Candles should be placed in a solid stand with the flame enclosed within the holder. Do not leave candle unattended and always extinguish it when you leave the house.
During a power outage it is always better to use flashlights and battery powered lighting. If you must use candles consider the battery operated flameless ones.
Compact florescent light bulbs CFLs use up to 75 per cent less energy and last six to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulb. They have a positive impact on the global climate. Purchase light bulbs that have a recognized testing label.
CFLs can be used almost anywhere. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and fit in most lamps and ceiling fixtures. Many CFLs are made specifically for use in recessed, dimmable, and trilight fixtures. Weatherproof CFLs are also available for outdoor use and if conditions are excessively wet. Otherwise, CFLs directly exposed to water should be within an enclosed water-tight fixture. Read the package carefully to ensure that the CFL is being used in the appropriate fixture and location.
CFLs are not recommended for lights on digital timers and fixtures with photocells (motion sensors or light sensors); garage door openers (the vibration may render the bulb inoperable); or areas that experience power surges.
If a CFL bulb breaks, open the window for a few minutes. Air the place out, leave the room and take pets with you, Turn of air conditioning and any forced air. Collect broken glass, any visible powder using a piece of cardboard, damp paper towel or tape. Place the materials in a glass container cover and place outdoors.
Can I throw it in the garbage? Like paint, thermostats, cleaning products and other potentially hazardous household items, CFLs and other fluorescent lights should be disposed of properly. Island households may take used CFLs and other household hazardous waste to any Waste Watch Drop-off Center in the province. Disposal is free. To reduce the risk of the bulb breaking and to protect yourself from cuts, wrap the bulb in a plastic bag and seal, then put the bag in a rigid container to take it to the Drop-Off Center.
CFLs have a unique “end-of-life” characteristic. In certain circumstances, a CFL may emit smoke and a melting, plastic-like odour at the end of its life. This is a common occurrence and is not considered dangerous. More often, the bulb will simply not light and this will indicate it needs to be replaced.
CFLs contain trace amounts of mercury, an essential ingredient for most energy-efficient lamps. However, no mercury is released when the bulb is in use. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and is used in many other household items, such as thermostats, thermometers, fluorescent lights, batteries and switches for appliances, lights and automobiles. Since mercury can be harmful to the environment and one’s health, every product containing mercury should be handled with care.
- Choose a freshly cut tree. Few needles should fall when the tree is tapped on the ground.
- Before placing the tree cut 5cm from the base of the tree.
- Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 liters of water and top it up daily. Make sure it is always immersed in water.
- Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance.
- Keep tree away from a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window and do not block exits.
- Remove the tree from within at the sign of drying out.
- Turn off dryer when you leave home or go to bed.
- Have all dryers installed by a professional.
- Dryer should be grounded.
- Ensure that proper outlet and plug are used on the dryer.
- Clean lint filter out after every dryer load and clean the lint around the drum.
- Keep the area around the dryer free of combustibles.
- Ensure the air exhaust vent pipe is clear and the outdoor vent flap will open and not be blocked or covered by snow.
- If cloths have been in contact with gasoline, paint thinner or substances like this lay the cloths outside to dry, wash and then dry in dryer.
- Install a smoke alarm outside the dryer room.
Alert everyone, get out, close the door and call 911 from outside.
Always be sure others are out and you have a path to an exit. If a grease fire place a cover over the pan, turn stove off and leave on burner till cool. If an oven fire turn of the heat and keep the door closed. If you have a fire in the microwave keep door closed, turn oven off, unplug from wall.
- Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame-retardant.
- If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations.
- Keep lit candles away from combustibles and place out of reach of children and pets.
- Blow out candles when you go out or to bed.
Deep Fried Turkey
- Place the deep fryer in an area where it will be away from children and pets.
- Never leave a fryer unattended.
- Place fryer in an open area away from fences and structures and off decks and patios.
- Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
- Heat the oil to 350 degrees F or 177 degrees C.
- Check the oil temperature frequently.
- Cook for three to five minutes per pound.
- Make sure you do not overfill the fryer with oil.
- Never get a turkey that is larger than the recommended size.
- Completely thaw and dry turkey before cooking. Pat the thawed turkey dry with paper towels.
- Do not emerge partially frozen and/or wet turkeys in oil. They will cause hot oil splatter when added to the oil.
- Slowly immerse the turkey into the oil Read your instruction manual carefully
- Do not leave the fryer unattended. If oil begins to smoke, turn gas supply off.
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire. If the fire is manageable, use your all-purpose fire extinguisher. If the fire increases, immediately call the fire department for help.
Extension cords should only be used temporarily.
Do not run extension cords under carpets, through doorways or under furniture. Always choose the right extension cord for the job.
Overheating or damaged extension cords.
- Extension cords can overheat causing fires when used improperly.
- Overheating is usually caused by overloading or connecting appliances that consume more watts than the cord can handle.
- Do not overload your extension cord by using it to power appliances beyond its capacity.
- Overheating can occur at the plug, at the socket, or over the entire length of the cord.
- If any part of the extension cord is hot while in use, it may be that it is overloaded.
- Hot plugs and sockets are often caused by deteriorated connections to the cord’s wires.
- Damaged extension cords can also cause fires.
- Look for visible signs of excessive wear or damage to the plug, sockets or insulation.
- Replace damaged extension cords.
Protect extension cords
- Check if the extension cord is properly rated for the products that are plugged into it.
- Check its capacity, or rating, by looking at the tag on the cord or its packaging.
- Use an extension cord outdoors if it is marked for outdoor use.
- The cord is energized when it is plugged in and can overheat if shorted.
- Unplug an extension cord when it is not in use.
Discard Older Extension Cords
- Cords that are old or are missing safety features such as safety closures, polarized blades and a large plug face that covers the outlet’s slots should be discarded.
- Check cords to make sure they have been listed by a recognized national testing laboratory.
When the fire is confined to a small area, everyone has left the building; the fire department has been notified, and you know how to use it.
Remember the word PASS:
Hold the extinguisher and Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle slowly and evenly, Sweep the nozzle from side to side.
For the home, select a multi-purpose (ABC) extinguisher. Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory. Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher.
Keep your fire extinguisher by an exit and keep your back to the exit. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
- Have a qualified electrician install your generator.
- Place generators outdoors away from any openings ie windows, vents, doors.
- Do not use generator in a garage or basement.
- Never refuel a generator while it is hot.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and install carbon monoxide alarms in the home.
- Avoid using lit candles use flashlights or battery operated candles when decorating.
- Keep exits clear at all times and know two ways out if at a Halloween party.
- Ensure costumes are flame retardant.
- Clean debris from around the house, leaves, twigs, branches.
- Seek shelter in your home, a building or a hard topped vehicle if you are out.
- Do not stand under a tree for shelter.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
- Unplug appliances and other electrical items.
- Avoid anything that may put you in direct contact with electricity or plumbing.
- Do not use corded phones, computers or other electrical equipment, turn off air conditioners.
- Avoid washing your hands, bathing, doing laundry, or washing dishes.
- If your skin begins to tingle or your hair stands up, a lightning strike may be imminent.
- Crouch down on the balls of your feet with your feet close together.
- Do not put your hands on the ground. Do not lie down!
- You want to keep points of contact between yourself and the ground to a minimum.
- Use light strings/sets from a recognized testing laboratory
- Use the proper lights for the environment (indoor, outdoor).
- Inspect light strings/set before use.
- Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.
- Read manufacturer’s instructions when connecting strands of lights.
- Unplug tree lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.
- Medical oxygen adds a higher percentage of oxygen to the air.
- Fires in oxygen enriched locations will burn more quickly.
- Oxygen does saturate fabrics, clothing, bedding making it easier for fire to start.
- Smoking in the home is prohibited if someone is on oxygen.
- Flammable products, such as vaseline or alcohol, aerosol sprays, body lotions and oils need to be kept away from the oxygen.
- Candles and anything that creates a flame, such as a lighter, should not be used in the home.
- A single spark in a room full of oxygen can create the potential for fire.
- Transport only a small amount of gasoline in a certified gas can that is sealed.
- Keep a window open for ventilation.
- Set the propane cylinders upright in the vehicle.
- Place them in a truck bed or on the floor of your backseat.
- Secure tank so it does not move.
- Propane cylinders must be inspected and re-certified or replaced every 10 years.
- The date of manufacture or the last valid inspection mark are stamped on the collar of the cylinder.
Residential sprinklers are sprinklers installed in the home to contain fire, protect life and property.
If a fire occurs in your home the sprinkler head closest to the fire will activate and spray water on the fire controlling the fire thus creating limited damage to your home.
In a new home the average cost would be $1.65 per sq. ft. A little more if you are installing the system in an older home where you need to retrofit.
They are safe, environmentally friendly, use 91% less water than the fire department would use fighting the fire, create less run off and pollution and are easy to maintain.
Please check the telephone book, form sprinkler companies, internet or your fire department for more information on the importance of residential sprinklers in the home.