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5-step home fire safety checklist

Our homes are special places full of loved ones, memories, pets and more. So why would we leave it unprotected from detectable – and usually preventable – threats like smoke, fire and carbon monoxide?

Fire safety experts report that more than 60 per cent of consumers do not test their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms regularly. That, along with other easy-to-perform tasks, can mean the difference between a safe home and a dangerous one. Follow this checklist to ensure your home and family are protected in case of an emergency.

1. Follow alarm installation guidelines. To secure the highest level of protection, follow the National Fire Protection Association’s recommendation to install smoke and CO alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

2. Test and maintain alarms. Alarms should be tested regularly and replaced at least every 10 years. Help ensure your alarms are maintained by changing the batteries at least every six months. For hassle-free protection, consider the First Alert 10-year Smoke Alarm, which features a sealed 10-year battery, eliminating the need for battery replacements for a decade.

3. Equip your home with fire extinguishers. Having fire extinguishers – and knowing how to use them – is an important part of maintaining a safe home. Place extinguishers in convenient locations on every level of the home, in the kitchen and in the garage. To use, follow the P.A.S.S. technique: pull the pin, aim low, squeeze the lever and sweep.

4. Protect against the “silent killer.” An odourless and invisible gas, carbon monoxide is the number one cause of accidental poisoning and can only be detected with an alarm. Install 10-year sealed battery CO alarms and be sure to check them regularly using the test button.

5. Plan. Practice. Repeat. Knowing – and practicing – what to do in the event of an emergency is crucial. Make sure to involve everyone in your household in creating a plan and then practice it at least twice a year. Identify two ways out of each room and a meeting place outside. Once outside, call 911 and wait until officials clear your home before re-entering.

- Courtesy of NewsCanada

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