Deputy fire chief of Blackpool Fire Rescue, Mike Savage, offered some tips to keep safe from fire now that the cooler months are upon us, which include making sure fire alarms are in working order and making sure to have an escape plan in place in event of an emergency. File photo

Tips for keeping your home safe from fire

One precaution to take is coming up with and practicing an escape plan in event of a fire

It’s Fire Prevention Week and in light of the campaign, which takes place Oct. 6 to 12, the Times caught up with deputy fire chief of Blackpool Fire Rescue, Mike Savage, for some tips on how residents can stay safe as they start using their chimneys for another season.

“Particularly, this time of year, make sure to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the batteries have been changed and are functional,” said Savage.

“The other one, for those that are burning wood, make sure your chimney is clean and in proper functioning order prior to starting up for the season. It reduces the risk of chimney fires and calls to fire service to have to come.”

A further precaution for families to take is coming up with and practicing an escape plan in event of a fire, so everyone in the household knows what to do and where to go when things get urgent.

This includes knowing where the closest exits are, staying low to the ground to avoid smoke in the air, and meeting at an agreed muster point where everyone can be accounted for.

It also helps to know the common causes of house fires, so one can take measures to prevent them in the first place.

Vavenby kids learn fire safety

“Overloaded circuits and burning candles close to combustibles are common causes as well as heaters too close to combustibles that aren’t rated for it,” Savage said.

“Another one is pipes that freeze and putting a forced-air heater as opposed to getting under there with a torch; some places have erupted in flames because people are under there with a torch and it’s too close to combustibles, so use the hot air opposed to the actual flame.”

Something else to keep in mind that some may not realize is the type of furniture in the home and how it reacts to what is called flashover.

Flashover is the point of heat where everything in an enclosed space spontaneously ignites and Savage noted that older furnishings actually take longer to heat in a room than modern furnishings.

“Traditionally with legacy furniture, it takes about 29 minutes and 30 seconds, but with modern furnishings, it’s three minutes 45 seconds, so it’s fairly fast and fairly deadly,” he said.

“And the products of combustion in the smoke, are very toxic, so getting close to the floor immediately where there’s more air space, crawling out and with your practiced escape plan is paramount.”

The final piece of advice is to make sure your house number is proper, visible and in the right place so responders can easily find your location.

“We’ve had people who’ve had the wrong address, called and had trouble getting through to dispatch, whether ambulance, fire or police, because the address was incorrect,” added Savage.

“So if they need help, they can give us a call and we can check to make sure it’s mapping correctly.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Clearwater residents participate in Amazing Race

Race was set up and run by the Barriere Outdoor Club on Oct. 5

Season 31 Poker Tournament held Sept. 25

Play for Season 32 commenced on Oct. 2 and ends Dec. 11

How to vote in Clearwater

Voters must be 18 years old and must bring identification that proves their address

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read