In the wake of recent fatal house fires in Nova Scotia and Ontario, P.E.I.’s fire marshal is urging Islanders to take potentially life-saving precautions in their homes.
Dave Rossiter says a working smoke alarm should be installed on every floor and outside sleeping areas. A plan for a quick escape, he adds, is also key.
“Fire moves quickly, and you may have less than 60 seconds to safely escape,” he says.
“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 added protection, Rossiter suggests installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom and installing carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.
The fire marshal also advises testing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly by pressing the test button and changing the batteries every year. Also, check the expiry date and replace alarms based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
For a home escape plan, Rossiter suggests:
- Everyone in the household should know two ways out of each room
- All exits must be unobstructed and easy to use
- If someone has mobility challenges, develop a home fire escape plan that takes into account the person’s 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
- Practise a home fire escape plan regularly