In the House
· I know it’s been said many times but this is great time to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries immediately if needed.
· Check your fire extinguishers that they are easily accessible, pressure gauge is in the “green” and not damaged, nozzle is not clogged, cracked or broken, pin and handle are intact and “do a little shake” - turn it upside down at least 3 times.
· Check for overloaded or damaged extension cords and replace if needed.
· Ensure you have an emergency preparedness kit ready in case of any emergency. For further details on what to include in your kit, visit www.getprepared.gc.ca
· Practice your family’s fire escape plan so everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency.
· After a long winter, windows should be checked to ensure they open and close properly in case they are needed as an exit.
· Many of you will get that urge to “spring clean” the house after a long winter. Properly store household chemicals and never mix cleaning agents.
· Get rid of old newspapers, magazines and junk mail. These items tend to pile up and greatly contribute to the severity and spread of fire.
· Check and clean the filters above the stove – this is a task often overlooked and the build-up of grease and grime can be quite substantial.
· You would be amazed at what may be lurking behind that refrigerator! Take the time to pull it out and vacuum the coils (it may help your energy cost too!)
· In one of our prior newsletters, we mentioned “Dryer Safety”. This is a perfect time to take another look at this article found on our website to refresh your memory of what “Spring Cleaning” you can do here.
· Is there a staircase in your home that is not “high-use”? Keep all stairs and landings in your home clear for safe evacuation in the event of an emergency.
Outside the House
· Take a look at your “911” sign or house number. Are they present and visible from the road or street. This is extremely important if you should ever require the help of any emergency services.
· Maintain a clear “fire zone” of 10’ around structures.
· After a long winter, it is also a good idea to take a look at your electrical outlets and appliances for animal nests to ensure the wiring is intact and safe.
· Keep 100’ of garden hose with an attached nozzle connected and ready for use.
· Remove leaves and trash from carports and garages. Combustible materials are dangerous if they are exposed to heated automobile components, especially under any type of vehicle, lawnmower, motorbike etc.
· Clean up and properly store paints, pool and yard chemicals.
· Check fuel containers for leaks and make sure they are properly stored.
· Let power equipment sit for approximately 30 minutes before placing it inside to be sure there is no possibility of fire.
· If you are in a rural area and wish to have a “Controlled Burn”, remember to contact the Township office for approval. We will require your address, phone #, location of the burn, what you intend to burn and specifics on the hours you wish to carry out this task.
· Everyone loves that first BBQ of the season but here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you “light up the grill” for the season. Check all your propane tanks and lines for leaks and remove any grease build-up in catch trays to prevent igniting. Always position the BBQ well away from combustible objects and only use the grill outdoors. Always know where the closest extinguisher can be located.
Tips from the “Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs”