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Four tips to remember when there’s a fire

The quickness of the season is a testament to how time flies, as it won’t be long before the leaves start to fall and autumn kicks into high gear.

Fall happens to be the time of year in which many awareness events take place. One of the first ones focuses on fire prevention. Fire Safety and Prevention Week this year is October 6 – 12. At this time, safety experts encourage teachers and parents to review some of the dangers of home fires and how easily they can start when being careless with candles, fireplaces or anything else that’s flammable.

But one doesn’t have to be a parent or teacher to be fire safe. The following tips from the Canadian Red Cross can help homeowners and renters keep themselves and their loved ones protected if a fire breaks out at home, ensuring that the only thing they have to worry about is filing a Canada home insurance claim – rather than nursing a severe injury or burn.

Head for the exit

The most important thing to do when a fire takes place is to get out of the house as quickly and as safely as possible. But when a fire breaks out, it can often create a lot of confusion and a sense of panic. That’s why it’s crucial to have a fire safety plan prepared, so that it can be utilized when faced with an emergency situation. These plans should detail the best routes to take when exiting the house, depending on where the fire is located and where people are situated. It’s a good idea to go over these plans several times each year so that one knows exactly what to do when there’s a fire.

Stop, drop and roll

One of the components of a fire safety plan is how to react in the event someone inadvertently comes into contact with a flame. Once again, when anything catches fire it can be extremely scary and cause panic. But should it happen, do just as firefighters have long recommended: Stop, drop and roll. In short, fall to the floor and roll back and forth until the flame is extinguished.

Get low to the ground

The natural inclination when a fire develops is to run for the door. However, there may be situations in which this is impossible, due to blocked passageways or obstacles. These circumstances are further complicated when there’s intense, black smoke. Breathing in these fumes can be extremely hazardous to one’s health and be almost paralyzing because it’s so difficult to catch a breath. Because heat rises, crawl on the floor in order to get underneath the fumes. This should make it easier to breathe, avoiding the health complications that result from inhalation.

Lightly tap door handle before opening

Something else to keep in mind are the temperatures of door handles. It’s natural to grab the handle to escape immediately. However, they can be very hot to the touch. If they are, it’s a good indication that there’s a fire on the opposite side. The Canadian Red Cross says that in these situations, seek out an alternative route, whether through a window or another door.

According to the Council of Canadian Fire Marshals, the top causes of residential fires in Canada are smoking-related materials – such as cigarettes – cooking, as well as heating and other electrical equipment. While fire losses are becoming less common, they’re responsible for thousands of injuries each year and millions of dollars in property and insurance losses.

Four tips to remember when there’s a fire

With back-to-school season already here, parents and students may feel like it was just yesterday that they had their last day of class.