Preventing fires in your home and knowing how to respond quickly can be critical to protecting life and property. You’ve taken the perfect first step by reading this.
Here are three key lessons to keep you safe.
What does carbon monoxide (CO) smell like?
Nothing! Carbon monoxide has no odour or colour, which is why it is so dangerous and is sometimes called ‘the silent killer.’
Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels like gasoline, oil, wood, coal and natural gas. The combustion can occur with any heating and cooking equipment that burns fuels – think of your car, furnace, fireplace or generators.
Carbon monoxide poisoning may start with mild symptoms, such as a dull headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness or blurred vision. It can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated and can cause irreversible brain damage or even death before anyone realizes there's a problem. Learn how to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
How often should you test your alarms?
Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. It’s as easy as pressing the ‘test’ button. When testing your alarm, check the expiry date. Alarms should be replaced every seven to 10 years. If you aren’t sure or there is no expiry date, it’s time for the alarm to be replaced.
What should you do when a smoke or CO alarm goes off?
If your smoke alarms goes off, follow your fire escape plan. This includes staying calm, alerting other occupants and getting everyone out. If there’s smoke, crawl below the smoke to safety. If you don’t yet have one, here are tips for making a fire escape plan.
If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, immediately move to fresh air outside or to an open window or exterior door. Make sure everyone in your residence is accounted for, call 9-1-1 from a safe location and stay there until emergency responders arrive. You can find more safety tips on ottawa.ca.
These three topics are also found on a children’s foldable Ottawa Services fire truck, pictured below. To get your own foldable truck, attend one of our education events. We announce those on our Twitter account, @OttFirePrevent.
You can find more information about fire safety, prevention and education on our website.