Ottawa has seen a rash of house fire accidents this last week. The devastation from a fire accident is shocking and can leave lives in ruins. House fire accidents account for 30% of all fires in Canada, but 73% of fire-related deaths happen in the home. Cooking is the leading cause of house fires and injuries.
The absolute best defense against a house fire accident is to be prepared. A household fire safety plan is an absolute must. When fire starts, it spreads quickly and can become life-threatening within two minutes. You need a plan to get out fast.
Fire accident prevention
* Take the time to create a fire safety plan for you home.
* Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home.
* Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road.
* If there are infants or elderly people in the home, assign someone to assist them in the event of an emergency.
* Make sure that all windows and doors are easy to open and not barred or painted shut.
* Once you’re out, stay out!
Recovering from a fire can be an emotional and financially draining process. It is amazing how quicly lives can be turned upside down. Often, the hardest part is knowing where to begin and who to contact.
Here is a quick reference.
* If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
* Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
* The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.
* Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
* Try to locate valuable documents and records.
* If you leave your home, contact the local police department to let them know the site will be unoccupied.
* Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
* Notify your mortgage company of the fire.
*stats: Council of Canadian Fire Marshalls