Halloween is just around the corner and there are some extra precautions regarding fire safety around this time of year. Here are some tips courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. h
1. Test your smoke alarms to make sure they work. In case a fire starts in your home, you need to know right away. This is also a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home smoke alarms.
2. Choose safer alternatives for lighting like battery-operated candles, flashlights, and glow sticks instead of candles in carved pumpkins and other Halloween decorations.
3. Purchase or make Halloween costumes (including wigs and props) labelled flame-resistant or flame-retardant. Choose materials that won’t easily ignite and avoid billowing or long-trailing features.
4. Keep dried flowers, cornstalks and other decorations away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
5. Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, to ensure nothing blocks your escape routes in the event of a fire.
6. If hosting a party for the “ghosts and goblins” in your home, be sure that everyone knows your home escape plan in the event of a fire, and a meeting place outside your home.
7. If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them ask the host about their home escape plan so they can plan how to get out safely in an emergency.
8. Make sure that children know to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothing does catch fire. (Stop immediately, drop to the ground, covering your face with your hands, and roll over and over to extinguish flames.)
9. Provide children with lightweight battery-operated flashlights or glowsticks to carry for lighting or as part of their costume.
10. Extension cords are for temporary use only. Use the right one for the job — there are special extension cords rated for outdoor use.
11. Never overload electrical outlets by plugging in too many plugs – use an approved power bar.
12. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended and keep them well away from children, pets, and anything that can burn.
13. Teach children their home address and phone number and how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) in case of an emergency.
For more fire safety tips, visit Ontario Fire Marshal
Jennifer Birch – The Property Partner