Fire Prevention Tips

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Special thanks to ECOH’s Senior Occupational Hygienist, Michelle Mendoza for sharing Fire Prevention Tips as we recognize October as Fire Prevention Month. We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of being prepared as fires can happen any wear and anytime. If a fire starts, you may have less than two minutes to get to safety, being prepared can save your life.

Protecting Yourself at Home

There are a few simple things you can do to prepare you and your family in the event of a fire

  • Install smoke alarms in your home. At minimum install a smoke alarm on each level of your home and outside each sleeping area, if possible, install interconnected smoke alarms, if one alarms all will sound.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least monthly and replace the battery at least yearly.
  • Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone in your household knows at least two (2) ways to escape from each room in your home.
  • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
    Avoid plugging in multiple extension cords into one outlet.

What If I Live in a Building?

High-rise buildings are designed to be fire-safe. The unit’s walls, floors and ceilings are composed of non-combustible construction materials and will protect you from fire and smoke

  • If you hear the building’s fire alarm and the fire is not in your unit, you are typically safe to remain there.
  • If a fire breaks out in a building, NEVER use the elevator instead leave using the nearest stairway. Never go to the roof, smoke rises! Doors to the roof are locked and you could become trapped.
  • If you are unable to evacuate, call 9-1-1 and move to the balcony or a smoke-free room, close the door.

Fire Prevention at the Workplace:

Similar to home fire safety prevention, you should know at least two closest exits in your work area and participate in fire drills. Some other tips for consideration include:

  • Know the location of the workplace fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers can only put out small, contained fires, such as a fire in a wastebasket. The extinguisher in your workplace may or may not be suitable for dealing with grease or electrical fires. If you have not been trained in the proper use of portable extinguishers, do not attempt to fight a fire.
  • Use only CSA-approved appliances.
  • Leave enough space for the circulation of air around heaters and other equipment such as computer terminals and copy machines.
  • Keep all appliances at a safe distance from combustible materials.

How can ECOH help?

When a fire happens, particulates, volatile organic compounds as well as hazardous building materials such as asbestos fibres may be released into the air. ECOH can help determine if the air quality in the affected and adjacent spaces is safe for preoccupancy.

Contact Michelle Mendoza, Senior Occupational Hygienist at mmendoza@ecoh.ca to learn more!

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