Install smoke alarms, practice fire escape plans
In the wake of fatal house fires in Nova Scotia and Ontario recently, the province’s fire marshal reminds Islanders to have working smoke alarms on every floor and outside sleeping areas – and know how to escape a fire quickly.
“Fire moves quickly and you may have less than 60 seconds to safely escape,” says Prince Edward Island Fire Marshal Dave Rossiter. “Early warning is crucial to survival, and working smoke alarms give you that early warning.
“It’s also very important to have, and practice, a home fire escape plan so everyone in the home knows how to get out quickly.”
For smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:
- install smoke alarms on every floor, and outside all sleeping areas of your home – and for added protection, install a smoke alarm in every bedroom according to manufacturer’s recommendations;
- install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage – and for added protection, install one on every floor of your home following manufacturer’s recommendations;
- test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly (by pressing the test button) and change the batteries every year; and
- check the expiry date and replace alarms based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
For a home escape plan:
- everyone in the household should know two ways out of each room;
- all exits must be unobstructed and easy to use;
- if someone in your home has mobility challenges, develop a home fire escape plan with your household that takes into account their unique needs;
- determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults, and anyone who needs assistance to escape;
- choose a meeting place outside, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for;
- once out, stay out – never re-enter a burning building;
- call the fire department from outside the home, a cell phone, or a neighbour’s home; and
- practice your home fire escape plan regularly.