IBC Marks Fire Prevention Week with Safety Tips

Halifax (Oct. 9, 2012) – Each year fire claims many lives and causes thousands of dollars in damage. Many of these tragedies could have been avoided. IBC offers tips for Canadians to learn how to prevent and respond appropriately in case of a fire.

“Canadians must be aware of the simple preventative measures they can take to prevent disaster from happening to them,” says Bill Adams, Vice President, Atlantic with IBC. “Statistics show that most fires are caused by careless behavior. An ounce of prevention and education can help save lives, homes and irreplaceable keepsakes,” adds Adams.

Understanding the common causes of fire is the first step in fire prevention. Nearly one in three fires is caused by carelessness or negligent use of combustible materials, cooking appliances or mechanical and electrical malfunctions.

Pre-planning and maintaining a fire safe environment helps to prevent fires from happening and ensures you are better prepared to handle a fire emergency. First and foremost, smoke detectors should be installed on every floor of your home. Statistics show that almost half of installed smoke detectors are not in good operating condition. Even worse, many homes are still not equipped with smoke detectors.

Here are some important tips to protect you against fire:

  • Check and maintain your smoke detectors. Replace batteries at least once a year. Suggest changing them when you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.
  • Establish a fire evacuation plan. Practise your fire escape plan with all your family members.
  • In the event of house fire, don’t waste a second, leave your house and call the fire department.
  • In the event of an apartment fire, never use an elevator and always feel your door before exiting, if it is hot do not open it.
  • Use your kitchen safely. Don’t leave anything cooking unattended. Turn off the stove even if you leave the room for just a few seconds.
  • Safely store matches and lighters away from children. Ask your children to tell you when they find matches or lighters. Remind them each time such items are for adults only.
  • Be careful if you smoke. Never smoke in bed. Wet cigarette butts before disposing them.
  • Be careful with electricity. Spot devices that are dangerous or in poor condition: flickering lamps, bare wires, open circuit breakers etc.
  • Give space heaters space. Leave at least one meter (three feet) between combustible materials and space heaters.
  • Get rid of combustible waste. Regularly dispose of anything that could cause a fire: paints, solvents you no longer need, or stacks of paper etc.

For more information on fire prevention visit ibc.ca.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $40 billion. To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.