February 18, 2021
Are you Working from Home?
2020 was definitely a year like no other in our lifetime, with many employees having to switch to working from home on a semi-permanent or perhaps permanent basis.
According to Allstate Canada Insurance, home fires from cooking or smoking saw an increase of 333% since March of 2020. A home Fire Safety Plan is particularly important, at this time to ensure your family’s protection.
Using the Ontario Fire Code as your guide, some simple steps can be taken to ensure that you and your family stay safe even when working from home.
- Have an evacuation plan in place. Practice it with all family members. Do you have two ways out? Do you have a Meeting Place to account for everyone, once out of your dwelling?
- Unblock all major exits in your dwelling/apartment. Ensure secondary exits are not blocked with furniture, boxes or any items that may impede a rapid escape route.
- It’s the Law, that a Working Smoke and a Carbon Monoxide alarm is located on every level of your dwelling and adjacent to all sleeping areas. Test them monthly, change the batteries at least annually or when required.
- Have a minimum 5lb. fire extinguisher readily available. Do you know how it operates? Do you know how to check it to ensure it is functional?
- Manage the storage of flammable or combustible material. Are flammable materials sealed in approved containers? Is there any chance that they could be in contact with heat or flames?
- Stay alert and remain with any/all cooking. Keep combustible materials away from the stove while in operation.
- When using candles, stay alert and remain in the same room as the open flame. Keep it away from combustibles. Extinguish the candle if leaving the area, even if it’s only for a minute.
- Does your home office have any overloaded electrical receptacles? How many extension cords or power bars are you using? Check them regularly for any kinks, wear and tear, and discoloration from heat. Do not cover the electrical cords with any material.
With everyone at home, doesn’t mean we have to leave safety at the door.
It’s your work place, your home, and your family- Keep everyone Safe
Jim Donovan, Fire Chief