There are many things in life we can’t control or avoid, such as natural disasters or an awkward moment like when you’re out with a friend and their friend who you don’t know comes up and starts talking to them, and you just stand there.
But there are some things we can take control of; which I like to call ‘avoidable disasters’ (the best kind of disasters).
Fire & Smoke
Contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke will not awaken you. As a matter of fact, the poisonous gases actually put you into a deeper sleep. Since the majority of fatal fires happen at night, it is essential to have working smoke detectors throughout your home to awaken you in a fire emergency.
For the best protection, make sure you have at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and in or near all sleeping areas. Test the alarms each week and replace the batteries once a year. Detectors that are part of a monitored system can automatically summon the fire department. In addition to early warning systems, technology is available for fire sprinkler systems in homes and other dwellings. This technology should always be used with early warning detection systems.
The first rule of survival—GET OUT IMMEDIATELY!
When fire strikes your home, authorities say you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape. It is imperative that you have a well rehearsed escape plan which includes all members of the family that are old enough to understand, and provides for those that are not.
Studying and practicing a plan, such as the Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs could save lives! When dealing with a fire, there is no time to gather personal belongings. The time you take trying could mean the difference between life and death. So always follow the golden rule of survival in the event of a fire, and GET OUT IMMEDIATELY!
As of October 15, 2014, Ontario is took another step to keep families and homes in Ontario safe by making carbon monoxide alarms mandatory in all residential homes. Carbon monoxide alarm will now be required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms, and adjacent sleeping areas in multi-residential units. Carbon monoxide alarms can be hardwired, battery-operated or plugged into the wall.
More than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in Canada, including 11 on average in Ontario. Sources of carbon monoxide in the home are wood burning/gas stoves, gas refrigerators, gasoline engines, kerosene heaters and others.
How to tell if there is a carbon monoxide leak in your home:
- Headache, nausea, burning eyes, fainting, confusion, drowsiness.
- Often mistaken for common ailments like the flu
- Symptoms improve when away from the home for a period of time
- Symptoms experienced by more than one member of the household.
- Continued exposure to higher levels may result in unconscious, brain damage and death.
- The elderly, children and people with heart or respiratory conditions may be particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide.
How to protect yourself and your family:
- Regularly maintained appliances that are properly ventilated should not produce hazardous levels of carbon monoxide
- Have a qualified service professional inspect your fuel burning appliance(s) at least once per year.
- Have you chimney inspected and cleaned every year by a W.E.T.T. certified professional.
- Be sure your carbon monoxide alarm has been certified to the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) CAN/CGA 6.19 standard or the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2034 standard.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in or near the sleeping area(s) of the home.
- Install the carbon monoxide alarms(s) in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
For more detailed life safety instructions refer to Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs at: www.oafc.on.ca/public-safety
There are benefits to having a monitored smoke and carbon monoxide alarm systems:
Traditional smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors alarms will sound, but if there’s nobody home to hear the alarm (and it’s a long shot that the neighbours might here it) then they can’t save lives, pets, or property. Monitored systems mean that police, fire dept. and any necessary first responders are quickly alerted to an emergency and can be on the scene within minutes.
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Written by Cheryl Redick, Graphic Designer/CSR
(sourced info. from: www.oafc.on.ca)