As the holidays get closer, we will be spending most of, if not all, our time at home. This reality can lead to an increase in nice family dinners and hosting fun parties. However, with the hustle and bustle of hosting, it can sometimes lead to unintentional errors, one of which is fire hazards. Whether you find yourself in the kitchen more often or are lighting your fireplace for warmth, keep these fire safety tips in mind.

1. Ensure your home is safe from potential fire hazards

Since we are all spending time indoors during the colder months, take the time to ensure your home is safe and protected from dangers. Fire hazards can be found in multiple places, not just in the kitchen, so ensure you are reviewing carefully. For example, electrical cords can start a fire if frayed or damaged, and dryers can be a hazard if the lint trap is left unemptied. Check all smoke alarms in the home, as well. If any of these seem problematic, make sure to take action. Reach out to the manufacturer of the product or Toronto Fire Services if you have further concerns. 

2. Make an emergency fire safety plan

Depending on your living situation, there may be plans in place for a fire. If you live in an apartment or condo building, make sure to review all protocols for residents. Organize an escape plan in your household. Decide on a meeting place where you will go if need be. If you have young children, explain the importance of fire safety, so all members of the household are clear on expectations in the event of a fire.

3. Limit distractions while cooking

Ensure to limit distractions while in the kitchen. Make sure your pot handles are positioned in a way that they can’t be accidentally knocked over. Additionally, set timers for your recipes as to not overcook or burn your meal. Additionally, pay extra attention to temperatures and flames when frying for extra preventative measures. If your older kids like to bake or cook, ensure they understand how the kitchen appliances work, as well as fire safety measures. However, always ensure there is supervision, and encourage them to limit distractions, such as tablets or cell phones.

4. Ensure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in working order

Fire alarms and smoke detectors are not only great protection for your family, but they can save you money on your home insurance. Check with your isure broker regarding what type of alarms qualify. It’s important to replace the batteries in your smoke detector every six months. Also, remember to do a test of your smoke detector every month. If you’re looking for a new smoke detector, check out this one from First Alert!

5. Never leave candles unattended

Candles can be a great way to relax or set the mood. However, you should never leave them burning for too long or unattended. Make sure to blow them out when leaving a room, especially when going to sleep. Additionally, it is suggested that you cut the wicks short once cool to avoid high flames, and to always use sturdy candle holders. Keep them away from other objects, especially flammable ones, to be extra cautious. If you have children or pets, keep all candles, matches, and lighters away from reach.

6. If there is a fire, quickly and calmly begin fire safety measures

In a scenario where an actual fire emergency occurs, getting yourself and loved ones out of the burning building is your number one priority. If there is excessive smoke, get as close to the ground as possible, and quickly crawl out. Call 911 as soon as you have escaped the building, and wait at a safe distance for help to arrive.

Through practicing these fire safety tips, you can ensure you and your loved ones are secure and safe in your home.

7. Purchase a fire extinguisher

To keep everyone in your home safe, it’s a good idea to purchase a fire extinguisher. The chance of a fire in your home is never impossible, so it’s always important to be prepared. They are typically inexpensive, as well. Keep it somewhere fires are more likely to occur, such as in your kitchen or pantry nearby. Check out this option from Canadian Tire

TIP: If ever in need, baking soda will put out a small grease fire. Putting the pot lid on a small fire can also cut off oxygen and stop it from growing.

8. Review your home insurance policy

Make sure your home insurance policy is up-to-date, including having adequate coverage limits. You don’t want to learn after a fire claim that you did not have the right coverage, and then your claim is denied. An isure insurance broker will be able to review your home insurance policy to ensure that you have more than adequate coverage.

We hope these fire safety tips help to extinguish your worries and fears! If you need to make a fire-related claim, contact one of our isure brokers today.

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