7 fire prevention tips

According to the Ministère de la Sécurité publique, a quarter of all house fires in Quebec in 2015 were due to human error. This means that it only takes a moment of distraction or negligence for a fire to occur in your home.

Here are some tips from La Capitale’s blog on how to reduce the risks and look out for your family’s safety.

1. Make sure you’re ready to react quickly in the event of a fire

  • Keep a portable ABC-rated fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure it’s easy to access and in good working order.
  • Install smoke detectors near the bedrooms. It’s important to change the batteries and inspect them, to ensure they’re functioning properly, every six months. Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years.

2. Be careful when cooking

  • Use the right size pot. To prevent liquid from spilling over the sides and landing on the burner, you should use a pot that’s large enough and not too full. As well, the circumference of your pot should always be larger than that of the burner you’re using. Lastly, it should have a cover of equal size (or larger), which you keep handy to smother any fire that might occur.
  • When frying, use the proper appliance: a thermostat-controlled electric fryer.
  • Keep a constant eye on food that’s cooking.If you need to leave the kitchen, turn off the cooking appliances until you return.
  • Carry out proper maintenance of the oven, stove and exhaust hood. The first two need to be cleaned frequently, especially in case of spills, to prevent flammable residues from building up. The exhaust hood filter should be cleaned every six months to prevent grease from accumulating.

3. Do your laundry safely

  • Properly maintain the dryer’s lint filter and exhaust duct. The lint screen should be cleaned after every load. The exhaust duct should be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner and inspected every six months.
  • Make sure the hot air from the dryer is evacuated properly throughout the year, and particularly in the wintertime, when the vent covers could be blocked by snow.
  • Don’t operate the dryer when there is no one at home.
  • Don’t use your household appliances to:
    • Clean items that have come in contact with a flammable substance such as oil, gasoline, solvent, paint or wax. Instead, take them to a specialized cleaner or discard them.
    • Dry stuffed items or items made of rubber.
  • Never dry any clothing, rags or shoes on a baseboard heater.

4. Store hazardous materials in a safe place

  • Place all hazardous materials (such as cleaning products, contact cement, oil, nail polish, alcohol, fondue fuel, oil paint, paint thinner, etc.) away from heat sources.
  • Gasoline and propane should always be stored outside.

5. Use caution when plugging in electrical items

Make sure you never overload extension cords and multiple sockets.

6. If using wood to heat your home, be extra careful

  • Always allow the ashes to cool outside for 48 hours in a metal container with a lid before disposing of them.
  • Have your chimney swept by a specialist every fall.

7. If you’re a smoker, don’t underestimate the risks

  • Always use a proper ashtray that’s placed on a stable surface.
  • Don’t smoke in bed, and never light a cigarette when you’re sleepy.
  • Never extinguish your cigarette in a flower pot or flower bed. Potting soil and mulch can be highly flammable.

Take advantage of the partnership with La Capitale!

If you’re a DuProprio buyer or seller, ask La Capitale General Insurance for a quote. You’ll receive an additional 5% discount, and you could save up to $425 by bundling your home, auto and leisure vehicle insurance.

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