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Fire Prevention Week

Fire Prevention Week will be held October 9-15, 2022 with the theme "Fire prevention is your responsibility!"

Each year in Québec, fires cause an average of

  • 13 houses damaged per day.
  • 400 injuries.
  • 29,000 forced evacuations.

Almost 49% of fires that occur in homes are related to human distraction or error.

Among fire victims, 45% are over 65 years old. If you’re a relative of a senior citizen or a senior yourself, make sure you’re particularly vigilant.

Knowledge and adoption of safe behaviours help to improve safety for all.

Fire safe behaviour

To avoid a fire

  • Always keep an eye on hot items such as irons and cookers while they’re in use.
  • In the kitchen, keep the lid of the pan within easy reach and use a timer to calculate the cooking time of the food.
  • Never place combustible items on the stove or in the oven.
  • Avoid the constant use of extension cords to connect space heaters.
  • Use CSA/ULC approved electrical appliances. Make sure that electrical wires remain intact.
  • Always turn off electric blankets before going to bed and replace them every 10 years.
  • Keep exits and stairs clear at all times. Keep personal items such as glasses, hearing aids, telephone, and keys near the bed in case you need to evacuate quickly at night.

To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Know how to spot sources of carbon monoxide and recognize the symptoms of poisoning.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm. If the alarm sounds, go outside immediately and call 911.
  • Have your chimney swept by a professional.
  • In winter, after a snowfall, make sure your car's exhaust pipe is clear before starting the engine.
  • Make sure to use the following items outdoors only:
    • the remote starter.
    • gasoline-powered tools.

Be prepared in case of fire

If fire breaks out in your home, you will have less than three minutes to evacuate the burning house. Consequently, you must have smoke detectors in good operating condition.

Make sure that you have sufficient smoke detectors and that they are installed in the right places in the home.

Test the detectors at least twice a year when the time changes.

Preparing an evacuation plan

Your evacuation plan should include

  • emergency exits (main door, windows, patio door).
  • two access ways to the emergency exits per room.
  • the meeting point, located outside and accessible in all seasons.
  • the location of smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, and portable fire extinguishers.

Know what to do before, during, and after a fire.

Learn what to do if you have to evacuate your home and  conduct a yearly evacuation drill.

Conducting an evacuation drill

Think of a possible fire scenario.

Choose the date and time of your evacuation drill and the fictitious location in the home where the fire would start.

Check that your smoke detector alarms are working properly before conducting your evacuation drill. If they are connected to a central monitoring station, inform your provider first before testing them.

Conduct an evacuation drill at least once a year, with everyone living in your home, following these steps:

  • Sound the smoke alarm.
  • Time your evacuation.
  • Evacuate your home, according to your evacuation plan, trying to do so in less than three minutes.
  • Once outside, proceed to the meeting point.
  • Review your evacuation and make improvements for the future.

A little history

Fire Prevention Week is always held in early October, during the full week that includes October 9, in both the United States and Canada. The event commemorates the great Chicago fire of October 9, 1871, when 250 people died, 100,000 were left homeless, and 17,400 buildings were destroyed. In Québec, Fire Prevention Week was first held in 1990.

Last update: October 7, 2022

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