While Fire Prevention Week isn’t until October, a house fire can start at any time and can spread rapidly. Studies show that you and your family may only have two minutes to safely escape – so being ready to escape your home quickly and efficiently during a fire is key. While there are many fire safety tools, one of the most important parts of fire prevention is having a fire escape plan. Take a look at our tips for fire safety below, or contact your Cayuga Mutual agent today to discuss your safety plan and coverage!
The first step of fire safety is smoke alarms! According to the Ontario Fire Marshall, most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep, and often, victims never wake up. Ensuring your home and family are protected with working fire alarms is the first step to avoiding fire fatalities. On average, fire alarms have a ten-year lifespan – ensure your fire alarm is still working AND has fresh batteries. A good rule of thumb is to change your fire alarm batteries each season. Don’t forget, it’s the law for every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas.
Creating your Fire Escape Plan
Creating your fire escape plan should be a family event and should involve every person living in the home! While it may be a bit alarming for the younger family members, you can also make this fun for children by having them draw a floor plan and mark the escape routes!
Take a look below at our tips for creating your fire escape safety plan:
- First, walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.
- Mark two ways out of each room – this includes windows and doors.
- Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm.
- Ensure that all escape routes are clear, and doors and windows can open easily.
- Check if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.
- Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number for the fire department.
- Assign one person to assist any infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations in the drill. Assign a backup person too in case the designee is not present when the emergency occurs.
- If your house has security bars on the windows or doors, be sure they can be easily removed from the inside. Installing emergency release devices is a good idea.
- Consider escape ladders near windows for any two (or more) story residence.
- Determine if children – or others – can readily wake to the sound of the smoke alarm.
- Practice your home fire escape plan – at least twice a year – making the drill as realistic as possible. Ensure its achievable in two minutes or less.
Lastly, never, ever go back inside a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the dispatcher and let the firefighters perform the rescue.
Home Insurance – Protecting you, even after a fire.
Even after a fire, your homeowners’ coverage can protect you and your family. Homeowners’ coverage usually extends to your personal belongings, such as appliances, furniture, and clothing. Homeowners insurance typically helps protect personal belongings from specific risks, like a fire, and may help pay to repair or replace them. Cayuga Mutual is always happy to help review or discuss homeowner policies should you ever have any concerns or questions – call us today at 1-800-567-3381!