Awareness, education, and preparation are the best ways to ensure the safety of your home and your loved ones.
Read on for all the tips, best practices, and products you need to stay safe. From potential fire hazards to high-risk areas in
your home and preventative measures, find everything you need to know to make sure your home is
safe and secure in case of fire.
One on every level and in every bedroom
One on every level and each sleeping area
One on every level, plus kitchen and garage
Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, or near any other potentially hazardous areas such as your furnace, electrical fireplace, etc. Make sure to follow all the care, testing, and usage guidelines included with your fire extinguisher by the
Install and regularly maintain carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
and smoke alarms to guard against deadly gas leaks and fire hazards. Make sure to replace batteries regularly and test them once a month.
Consult your user manuals for the best placement for these
life-saving devices in your home. Smoke alarms should always
be installed to the ceiling, while CO detectors should be kept
close to sleeping areas such as in your bedroom or in the
Extension cords are not designed for long-term use; replace
them regularly. Keep extension cords out of high-traffic areas,
and inspect them frequently for damage. Don't overload
extension cords with plugs and ensure that you do not exceed
the maximum wattage allowed.
Keep a screen or heat-tempered glass door in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks and embers from flying out. Fireplace screens work well as a decorative element or a focal point in your living room, and help to create a safer environment for kids and pets. For more fireplace safety information, see Tip #8.
Fires can cause power outages, and vice versa. Make sure the occupants of your home have a safely-lit and clearly-indicated path to the outdoors in case your regular lighting system malfunctions. This is particularly important for non-residential buildings or homes that welcome frequent guests, as occupants of the building may not be familiar with their surroundings.
If you have a lot of electrical equipment, surge protectors will help to prevent damage in the event of power surges. This is different from power strips, which only provides more outlets for use. Never plug in one surge protector into another as a "daisy chain" - this can risk blown fuses or electrical fires.
Never use gasoline, kerosene, or lighter fluid to start a fire in your fireplace. Check regularly for cracks, loose bricks, or other defects in your fireplace. For more information on fireplace screen protection, see Tip #4.
ROXUL insulation resists temperatures of up to 1177°C without burning or melting. Non-combustible stone wool does not promote the spread of flame or produce toxic smoke in the event of fire; these factors may provide critical additional time and protection needed to facilitate an escape.
Have a back-up exit method prepared in case your primary method is blocked — purchase collapsible ladders to place near a window. Never open a warm door; if the door's top, knob, and crack feel warm or hot, use your secondary escape route. If you must escape through a smoky area, cover your mouth and stay as low to the ground as possible. And teach kids not to hide (say, under a bed) from firefighters!
Electric fireplaces can collect dust and dirt in their grill, blower, fan, or exhaust port. This debris
is a fire hazard when it's close to high heat levels. Wipe away any cobwebs or dust from your electric fireplace's grill or blower once a week. Use a vacuum to remove any other dust from the blower or the rear portion of the blower, where the fan assembly is located.
Make sure to regularly inspect (or have an electrician inspect) your electrical wiring. If wiring is fraying or otherwise damaged, the best action is to replace it. Alternatively, electrical tape can be a safe and effective solution in situations where inner metal is not exposed or severed. Finally, twist-on connectors (or "wire nuts") can fix a minimally-damaged electrical wire.
A smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that thinks, speaks, and alerts your phone, The Nest Protect looks for fast-burning fires, smouldering fires, and carbon monoxide. It also speaks up when there's a problem, can be hushed from your phone, and will even message your phone in case you're not home. With a 10-year electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor, heat sensor, humidity sensor, occupancy sensor, ambient light sensor, and omnidirectional microphone, the Nest Protect is unlike any other smoke or CO alarm.