Recent data shows on average, home fires account for 30% of all fires and 73% of all fire deaths causing millions of dollars in property damage in Canada. With these statistics, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) urges you to be mindful of fire prevention and safety.
“The winter season is the worst season for fires in Canada and many of these tragedies can been avoided,” says Ralph Palumbo, Vice-President Ontario, IBC. “Canadians should be informed of the simple measures that can be taken to prevent a devastating fire from occurring in their homes. “ This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is preventing kitchen fires. Kitchen fires due to cooking oil or grease igniting into flames cause the fastest-spreading and most destructive type of residential fire. When cooking with grease or oil, it is very important to plan ahead so you will know how to react fast to fire. Here are a few kitchen safety tips to remember:
- Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet handy in case grease or oil catches fire. The lid or cookie sheet should be slid over the top of the pan to smother the fire.
- Never attempt to move a flaming pot or pan away from the stove. The movement can fan the flames and spread the fire.
- Don’t leave anything cooking unattended. Turn off the stove even if you leave the room only for a few seconds.
- Use a safety approved fryer.
- Keep your oven clean. Grease and food splatters can ignite at high temperatures.
- Ensure that you wear oven mitts when removing cooking containers to avoid serious burns.
- Wear close-fitting clothing that won’t catch on pot handles.
- Turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk of accidentally overturning the pot and to prevent children from grabbing it.
- Do not let children get closer than one meter (three feet) when you are cooking.
Pre-planning and maintaining a fire safe environment helps to prevent fires from happening in your home and ensures you are better prepared to handle a fire emergency. An ounce of prevention and education can help save lives, homes and irreplaceable keepsakes. Fire safety tips for the home:
- Check and maintain your smoke detectors. Replace batteries at least once a year around Daylight Savings Time.
- Establish a fire evacuation plan. Practise your fire escape plan with all your family members.
- In the event of house fire don’t waste a second, leave your house and call the fire department.
- In the event of an apartment fire never use an elevator and always feel your door before exiting, if it is hot do not open it.
- Be careful with electricity. Spot devices that are dangerous or in poor condition: flickering lamps, bare wires, open circuit breakers etc.
- Give space heaters space. Leave at least one meter (three feet) between combustible materials and space heaters.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada.