Ten tips for helping to prevent fires in your home

While equipping your house with smoke detectors continues to be the best way to prevent a fire from damaging your home, there are other steps a family can take to ensure they are prepared against and protected from fire.

This Fire Prevention Week, the Insurance Bureau of Canada offers western Canadians its top 10 tips for preventing fires and saving lives.

“Data shows that, on average, home fires account for 30 per cent of all fires and 73 per cent of all fire-related deaths in Canada,” explained Bill Adams, vice-president, Western and Pacific, IBC.

“To reduce these incidents and keep families safe, IBC encourages everyone to take a few moments this Fire Prevention Week to help prevent a home fire.”

Install and regularly check smoke detectors

Remove dust, check batteries when the clocks change in the spring and fall, test regularly and replace at least every 10 years

Create an emergency preparedness plan

Develop a fire evacuation plan, practice executing it and stick to the plan in an emergency

Frequently inspect and clean chimney flues

Ensure there is no blockage or buildup that could cause a fire

Install proper light bulbs

Never use light bulbs with a higher wattage than the maximum indicated on the fixture

Monitor heated appliances and decor

Properly use and watch portable heaters, ensure lint is removed from the dryer, never leave an iron unattended and keep an eye on burning candles

Be careful when cooking

Use your kitchen safely, especially when deep-frying or cooking with flammable oils

Properly store flammable materials

Keep gasoline, solvents, waste and other materials that could ignite at a distance of least 10 metres from your home

Remove dry leaves and debris

Keep leaves, other dry materials and potentially flammable garbage away from the exterior of your house, especially if you have wood or vinyl siding

Prepare and update a home inventory

Make a list of what you own, including the value of each item; take photos or make a video of your belongings; and update the list regularly

Assemble a disaster safety kit

Prepare a basic kit of food, water and other necessities that will last at least 72 hours in an emergency

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