Install and maintain smoke alarms Smoke alarms alert you to fire and give you time to escape. Install smoke alarms on each level of your home. Test smoke alarms regularly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace weak or dead batteries immediately with new ones. Remember, if your smoke alarms are hardwired, they will not function during a power failure. Consider installing a backup battery powered smoke alarm as an additional asset to your home. Have a home fire escape plan Make a home fire escape plan, and practice your plan so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire emergency. Prepare and practice a fire escape plan with every member of your household. Look for two ways out of each room – windows and doors. If you get caught in smoke, the cleanest air will be near the floor. Get down on your hands and knees, and crawl to the nearest safe exit. Arrange an outside meeting place and a safe location to call 9-1-1. Never go back inside for anything! Kitchen safety Never leave cooking unattended. Keep children at least 1 metre away from the stove. Don’t wear loose fitting clothing, and be careful not to reach over hot burners. If a pot catches fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames, and turn off the burner. Keep pot handles turned inward. Candle safety Don’t use candles if you have pets or children in the house. Extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to sleep. Place candles in sturdy containers and at least 0.3 metres (one foot) away from anything that can burn. Space heaters need space Keep portable and space heaters at least 1 metre (3 feet) from anything that can burn. Never leave heaters on when you leave the house or go to bed. Keep children well away from heaters. Smoking is hazardous Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Provide sturdy, deep ashtrays, and make sure cigarette butts and ashes are out before throwing them away. Remember it is just as dangerous to fall asleep smoking on the couch or in a chair as it is in a bed. Never smoke in bed or when you are feeling drowsy. Smokers need watchers. Before going to sleep, check under and around sofa cushions and upholstered furniture for smoldering cigarettes. Keep matches and lighters out of reach Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children – up high and preferably locked up. Teach children that matches and lighters are only for adults. Use electricity safely If an appliance smokes or smells like it is burning, unplug it immediately and have it repaired. Check all of your electrical cords, and replace any that are cracked or frayed. Don’t overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under rugs or carpets. Don’t tamper with the fuse boxes or use fuses of improper size. Unplug items such as toasters and coffee makers when not in use. Stop, drop and roll If your clothes catch fire, don’t run. Stop where you are, Drop gently to the ground cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs, Roll over and over until to the flames are smothered. Power failures When power fails, don’t use open flames or a charcoal grill indoors. Don’t use gas-fueled appliances as alternative heating sources indoors. If you plan to use a portable generator, don’t connect household items to the generator unless you have it wired professionally. Don’t hook the generator up to your home’s electrical system. Be sure the generator is kept outside, where exhaust doesn’t enter buildings. Test your smoke alarms now – remember, if they’re hardwired, they won’t function during a power failure. Install backup battery-powered smoke alarms for additional protection.