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Fire Safety in Your Home

OIPA member Randy Henderson of Arcon Forensic Engineers shares tips for residential fire safety. With people spending more time at home and indoors, now is the perfect time to do your very own Fire Safety Risk Assessment for your residence. Here are some simple things to do and things to avoid, they could save your life or at least your home and the keepsakes and important documents that are in there.

 

Replace your smoke detector batteries with every change in season, regardless of whether they are hard wired or not. Check the expiry date on your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors – these units do need to be replaced! Don’t power appliances such as window air conditioners with extension cords. Extension cords are designed to provide temporary power and are not meant to be a long term wiring solution. Even if you are using a cord that is suitable for the electrical load, it is still only meant for temporary power supply. Ensure that extension cords are not covered – they do heat up and need air circulation around them. Don’t be tempted to have 5 appliances plugged into a two-receptacle outlet. There is a reason for how many receptacles in each outlet and how many outlets per circuit. Related to this is that if a fuse panel fuse or breaker keeps failing, call in an electrician. Clean the lint trap in your dryer after every load and periodically (depending on frequency of use) check the dryer exhaust to ensure that there is no build-up of lint. Airborne particles of lint can lead to dryer fires. Only use candles for ambience during a romantic dinner and never as a light or heat source. Be sure to extinguish the candle before you leave the room regardless of the dinner result. Don’t leave portable appliances such as crock pots, plugged in and operating for hours if you’re not home. Clean out your toaster – unplug it first – to make sure particles of bread don’t ignite this is also true for your oven where uncleaned spills from a previous use can catch on fire. Don’t leave oily rags or rags doused in paint thinner in a pile or in a heap, even in your garage. Make sure combustible items are not stored close to open bulbs in closets or other storage rooms.

 

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