women installing fire alarm

Few things are more devastating than a house fire. Prevent the unthinkable and keep your family safe by following these five fire safety tips for your home from the Ottawa home security experts:

Tip 1: Have appropriately placed smoke detectors in good working order.

It’s not surprising that smoke detectors are number one on the list. Smoke detectors should be placed on each floor of the home (including the basement), and there should be smoke detectors outside of each bedroom.

Test all smoke detectors on a monthly basis and clean them as recommended by the manufacturer’s directions. Remember to change your batteries twice a year, but also be aware that the units themselves need to be replaced periodically. Smoke detectors lose sensitivity, and should be replaced at least once every ten years, even if the test button beeps when you press it. The test button only confirms that the battery, alarm, and electronic components of the unit are working. That does not mean that the alarm will go off in the event of a fire.

Tip 2: Replace ionization and dual-sensor smoke detectors with photoelectric smoke alarms.

There are three different types of smoke detectors: ionization, photoelectric, and dual-sensor. The International Association of Fire Fighters recommends replacing dual-sensor and ionization smoke detectors with photoelectric alarms. These detectors are best at responding to fires in their early stages and are much more receptive to smoldering fires. Ionization alarms sound when the electrical current is blocked, while photoelectric smoke alarms sound when light is blocked.

Tip 3: Minimize the fire hazards in your home.

Poorly maintained heating equipment is a huge fire hazard and should be cleaned and inspected by a professional annually. Likewise, old or faulty electrical work can pose a grave danger. If you frequently trip breakers or have electrical problems, have your home checked out by a licensed electrician as soon as possible.

Be mindful of what you’re plugging into your home’s electrical system, as well. Electrical cords should never be run under rugs or furniture. Items that have electrical malfunctions or frayed cords should never be used.

Tip 4: Be careful when using fire in your home.

We aren’t always as careful as we should be while cooking. Keep potholders, paper towels, food packaging, and other flammable items far away from the stove. Fire extinguishers should be stored in the kitchen in the event of a cooking fire. Remember, never pour water on a grease fire.

Candles are another fire hazard. Be sure to keep them far away from anything flammable, and out of reach of children and pets. Never leave lit candles unattended.

Cigarettes are a leading cause of fires in Canada, and account for one in five fire fatalities. If you insist on smoking indoors, never smoke in bed. Use deep ashtrays and remember that a cigarette butt can take hours to extinguish, even after you think it’s out.

Never, ever leave the house or go to sleep with food cooking, a candle burning, or a cigarette lit.

Tip 5: Talk to your family members about fire safety.

Children are most vulnerable to dying in the event of a house fire. Plan escape routes and hold family fire drills regularly. Talk to your children about how to prevent house fires, and share these five fire safety tips for your home with them.

If you find burnt matches, lighters, burnt toys, or other signs that your child has taken an interest in fire, do not hesitate to talk to them about it. Teach them how to be safe with fire.

Keep your family and your belongings safe with Bee Alarmed’s fire monitoring system. Our system wireless smoke detectors and heat sensors connected to our ULC-certified monitoring station. In the event of a fire, our operators will immediately send a request for emergency services to extinguish the fire as soon as possible and keep your home safe.

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