When it comes to fire safety, being prepared for the unexpected is your first line of defense. But it’s not enough for just the adults to know what to do in the case of a fire emergency. When it comes to protecting your home and family, every member of the household needs to be involved.

Establish a ‘kid-free zone’ in the kitchen. Unattended cooking is a leading cause of home fires. Remain in the kitchen while the stove or oven is in use and practice safe cooking. Create a kid-free zone of at least one metre around the stove and any areas where hot food or drinks are being prepared to help prevent burns and fires.

Test your smoke alarms. The smoke alarms throughout your home help play a crucial role in keeping your family safe by alerting you to potential dangers. However, it’s not enough to just have alarms installed – you also need to test them regularly. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month to ensure they’re in working condition and replace the batteries at least every six months if you have battery-powered alarms. If there are young children in your household, show them the sound your smoke alarms make when you press the “test” button so they know what it sounds like – and know what to do in case the alarm goes off.

Create and practice an escape plan. According to a study conducted by First Alert, only 56 per cent of Canadians have a fire escape plan, and among those that do, just one in five said they practiced it twice a year. In the event your family needs to evacuate your home, every second counts. To develop your emergency escape plan, identify two exits out of each room, including windows and doors, and set a dedicated meeting spot outside. Once outside, stay outside and call 911. Be sure to practice your escape plan with the entire family at least twice a year.

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