Many fatal fires start at night, and the smoke alone will not wake you up. In fact, the fumes could actually put you into a deeper sleep. The best defence? A properly working smoke alarm. Here are five things you need to know about your smoke alarm to protect yourself and your family from a fire.
- You need a smoke alarm on every level of your home. For single level homes and apartments, opt to have a smoke alarms near the kitchen and all sleeping areas.
- Test your alarm monthly by pushing the test button. You can also use a cigarette or incense to test that it is working.
- Batteries should be replaced twice a year or when you hear the intermittent beeping. Avoid using rechargeable batties as they lose their charge without emitting a warning signal.
- Replace all smoke alarms every five years with new ones.
- Have a fire home safety plan and practice it regularly.
Fire home safety plans
In addition to a working smoke alarm, a well-rehearsed plan and knowing what to do in the event of a real emergency is an important step in fire safety, even for your home.
To get started, The Canada Safety Council recommends:
- Have a floor plan of your house
- Plan two ways out of each room
- Establish a meeting spot outside the house
- Be sure everyone in the house is aware and understands the plan and escape route
- Post your fire escape plan somewhere visible (the fridge, bulletin board etc.)
- Practice a fire drill at least once a year