Fire Prevention Week 2021 (Oct. 3 - 9)
In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. It is important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.
This year’s FPW campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety!” works to educate everyone about the different sounds the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make. Knowing what to do when an alarm sounds will keep you and your family safe. When an alarm makes noises – a beeping sound or a chirping sound – you must take action.
What is your alarm telling you?
Does your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm beep or chirp? Knowing the difference can save you, your home, and your family. Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and knows how to respond.
Find out what your alarm sounds like by checking the user guide or searching online for the make and model.
- Click here to learn how to install your smoke alarm.
- A continued set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and stay out.
- A single “chirp” every 30 to 60 seconds means either:
- the battery is low and needs to be replaced
- the alarm has reached the end of its life, or
- the alarm is not working properly, and the entire unit needs to be replaced.
- All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
- Smoke alarms save lives! To learn how to properly test your smoke alarm, click here.
- A continuous set of four loud beeps—beep, beep, beep, beep—means carbon monoxide is present in your home. Go outside, call 9-1-1 and stay out.
- A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be replaced.
- CO alarms also have “end of life” sounds that vary by manufacturer. This means it’s time to get a new CO alarm.
- Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and the unit must be replaced.
- You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide gas. Inhaling it can cause serious illness or death, so it is important to protect yourself and your family by having carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
- Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of everyone in your home, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
For more information on carbon monoxide, the symptoms of exposure, and how to install and maintain alarms, please click here.
- Install a bedside alert device that responds to the sound of the smoke and CO alarms. The use of a low-frequency alarm can also wake a sleeping person with mild to severe hearing loss.
- Keep your mobility device, glasses and phone close to you while you sleep.
- Keep pathways like hallways lit with night lights and free from clutter to make sure everyone can get out safely.
What if I, or someone in my family is hard of hearing?
Not everyone can rely on audible smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, but assistive equipment is available to help people feel and see the signs of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. These devices use a combination of strobe lights and vibration devices called “bed or pillow” shakers to alert people of an emergency. When using these alarms, remember that if you “see the flash and feel the vibration” get out, contact 911 and stay out.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that displaces oxygen in your body and brain and can render you unconscious before you even realize something is happening to you. Without vital oxygen, you are at risk of death from carbon monoxide poisoning in a short time. CO alarms detect the presence of carbon monoxide and alert you so you can get out, call 9-1-1, and let the professionals check your home.
CO alarms also have a battery backup. Choose one that is listed with a testing laboratory. For the best protection, use combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the home. These can be installed by a qualified electrician, so that when one sounds, they all sound. This ensures you can hear the alarm no matter where in your home the alarm originates.
Other Fire Prevention Information
· Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food.
· If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan.
· Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 1 metre around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
· To prevent overheating and ignition of cooking oil, fry foods in a temperature-controlled deep-fat fryer or skillet designed for a maximum temperature of 200 °C.
· Use back burners whenever possible and turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk of pots being knocked over.
· Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, and other items that can burn, away from your stovetop.
· In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat, and keep the door closed.
· If a fire starts in the microwave oven, leave the door closed, turn it off, and unplug it from the wall. Get out and call 9-1-1.
If you have a fire in your kitchen and your initial attempts to smother the flames do not work, leave your home, and call 9-1-1.
· Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.
· Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
· Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
· Have an escape plan.