Storm Related Power Outages Can Significantly Increase the Change for a House Fire or Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Tips for Preventing Cigarette-Related Fires

Following these simple fire-safety tips can boost survival rates dramatically:

  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Test the batteries every month and change them at least once a year.
  • Keep an extinguisher in every part of your home where fire might occur, especially in the kitchen, living room, laundry and bedroom.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn.
  • Never smoke in bed or when you are drowsy, intoxicated or medicated.
  • Use large, deep non-tip ashtrays to prevent ashtrays from spilling onto furniture and check them frequently. Do not rest ashtrays on sofas or chairs.
  • Empty ashtrays into an airtight metal container. Warm ashes dumped in trash cans can smoulder for hours, and then ignite. Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away.
  • Encourage smokers to smoke outside.
  • Do not allow smoking in a home where an oxygen tank is in use.
  • When smokers visit your home, ask them to keep lighters and matches out of reach of young children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Don’t leave cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended.
  • Be sure to check on the floor and around chair cushions for ashes that may have been dropped accidentally by visiting friends or relatives.

Make Your Food Taste Great… Not Burnt

Everyone enjoys a home-cooked meal.   But whether you are preparing a feast or re-warming last night’s leftovers, it’s important to take some basic precautions to avoid turning a quiet meal into a devastating house fire.

Make Fire Safety a Priority

Preventing cooking fires can be relatively simple. Here are some ideas to make your kitchen safer:

  • Keep cooking areas free of combustible materials, such as potholders, packaging, and paper towels. Don’t wear loose clothing that can dangle onto a burner and catch fire.
  • Don’t leave food unattended while it cooks. Don’t consume alcohol while cooking. Being even moderately impaired may inhibit response time if a fire breaks out.
  • Keep a kitchen fire extinguisher, such as Quell’s 1kg unit, suitable for cooking fat/oil fires inside of a kitchen cabinet and a 1metre x 1 metre fire blanket.
  • Read the instructions and know how to use your extinguisher and fire blanket before a fire breaks out. Check the pressure gauge monthly to ensure it is charged and ready to use.
  • Only use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and self-contained. Be sure to notify the fire department before extinguishing the fire.
  • Fire blankets may be used to extinguish small cooking fires and clothing fires.
    • Keep a list of emergency numbers close by.
    • Keep children and pets away from cooking areas by creating a one metre “safe zone” around the stove.
    • Turn pot handles inward to prevent spills.
    • Keep cooking appliances clean to prevent grease build-up, which can ignite if heated directly.
    • Never pour water onto a cooking oil fire.
    • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent the flames from escaping.
    • Never put metal objects into a microwave. If a microwave fire occurs, keep the door closed and unplug the unit immediately.
    • Develop and practice an escape plan with your entire family. Plan two exit routes from each room, including the kitchen. Practice your escape plan at different times of the day and specify a meeting place outside.

Candle Safety

Remember that a candle is an open flame and it can easily ignite any combustible nearby. While candles provide a warm glow, they are not to be taken for granted. Follow these safety tips while using candles in the home:

  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • Keep candles away from items that can catch fire (e.g. clothing, books, paper, curtains, Christmas trees, flammable decorations).
  • Do not use candle holders in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them.
  • Place candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface and do not use the candles in places where they could be knocked over by children or pets.
  • Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids.
  • Avoid candles with combustible items embedded in them.
  • Develop and practice a fire escape plan with the whole family. Plan two exit routes for each room, and practice your escape plan at night to mimic the most difficult fire situation you might encounter. Never re-enter a burning home. Be sure that someone is responsible for waking young children and escorting them to safety.

Candles & Children

  • Keep candles up high out of reach of children.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle. A child should not sleep in a room with a lit candle.
  • Don’t allow children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms.
  • Store candles, matches and lighters up high and out children’s sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.

During power outages

  • Try to avoid carrying a lit candle. Don’t use a lit candle when searching for items in a confined space.
  • Never use a candle for a light when checking pilot lights or fuelling equipment such as a kerosene heater or lantern. The flame may ignite the fumes.
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Camping and Fire Safety

Camping is a favourite summer pastime for many families. Whether camping in a tent, caravan or RV, fire safety should be a fundamental component of your planning.

Fun and Safety Can Go Hand-in-Hand

From singing songs to toasting marshmallows, a campfire is a key element of the camping experience. Before heading out on your camping adventure, take time to learn how to build, control and extinguish campfires and review other fire safety precautions. Here are a few simple tips to keep your family’s camping trip safe and fun:

  • Before building a campfire, check with rangers or the campground office for restrictions, especially during the summer when vegetation is dry and campfires may be restricted
  • Look for signs that warn of potential fire hazards in national parks and private campgrounds. Always obey park regulations.
  • If campfires are permitted, select a location that is downwind and away from your tent. Clear all vegetation and dig a small pit surrounded by rocks.
  • Never use petrol to start a campfire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and do not allow children to play near or around a campfire. Always put campfires out before sleeping or leaving the campsite.
  • Keep dirt and/or water nearby to extinguish the campfire before sleeping. For emergency use, pack a fire extinguisher with your camping gear. Select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
  • Use only battery operated camping equipment, such as flashlights or lanterns inside the tent. Never use liquid-filled heaters or lanterns, matches, candles, open flames or a barbeque inside a tent as they can produce the deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • When cooking, keep a fire extinguisher within reach. Use a fire extinguisher when a fire is small and contained and only after the park ranger has been notified of the fire.
  • Do not discard lit cigarettes or matches on the ground or into vegetation. Dry vegetation can be quickly sparked into a fire.

Auto Vehicle Fires: Be Prepared In Case of Emergency

Few drivers think of a fire extinguisher as a critical component of their car safety kit. A fire extinguisher within reach inside the vehicle can be useful in an emergency or to quickly put out a small, smoldering fire.

Vehicle Fire Safety Tips

  • Make sure that everyone has exited the vehicle.
  • Use your extinguisher only to keep a small, smoldering, contained fire from growing or to create a safe pathway from the vehicle.
  • Read the instructions and become familiar with your fire extinguisher’s parts and operation BEFORE a fire breaks out.
  • Remember the “PASS” method:

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