5 Vital Tips for Residential Fire Safety

Maintaining a safe environment is always everyone’s first priority. However, there are very simple
initiatives we can take as family members in a household, or co-workers in an office to ensure that we are always doing our best to maintain a safe environment.

1. Know your evacuation plan and meeting spot in case of a fire or life safety emergency.

egress-exit-signage-emergency-lighting-photoluminescent_green-running-manResidential areas usually have landmarks around the home that each family can designate as a safe meeting spot. Make family members (children and guests inclusive) aware of this designated meeting spot. Rehearse your evacuation plan while being mindful of alternate routes in case one exit is blocked. Time your evacuation and see if everyone in the household can get to the designated area in under 60 seconds. Prolonged exposure to the carbon monoxide created by a fire can be fatal.

Residential buildings (condominiums and apartments) will always have a fire department-approved fire safety plan. Be sure that each tenant is aware of their evacuation route based on the floor and suite in which they’re residing. If you are a tenant and would like to know where to find this information, contact your property manager and they will provide the relevant information.


2. Keep a household fire extinguisher stored near cooking areas and/or garages.

Fires in a residential setting can be caused by almost anything. There are flammable fire-extinguisher-amerex-toronto-gta-fire-safetymaterials all over our homes and even on our person. Whether you’re in the kitchen cooking, lighting a candle to relax for the evening. powering up holiday lights, or working with tools in your garage, the possibility of a fire hazard is always present. As such, we recommend keeping a household fire extinguisher near any cooking areas or garages. Multi-purpose (ABC) fire extinguishers can be found at your local home improvement stores in sizes upwards of 2 lbs., from $25+. Most extinguishers come with a mounting bracket as well.

3. Never use your barbecue in the garage during the winter, or at any time.

We know, it sounds like a great idea. Enjoying the taste of a crisp-cooked barbecue meal in the chilly of months of winter sounds so comforting, but there are significant risks in exchange. Garages are places where there are generally more flammable and explosive materials stored; automotive fluids, aerosol cans, and wood just to name a few. For those who park cars in their garage, we know that the fumes which come out of the exhaust pipes contain carbon monoxide; an extremely flammable gas.

Barbecues operate on two primary functions: a flow of propane/ or natural gas ignited by a spark. Creating a spark in an area which is generally not ventilated, containing a lot of flammable materials should raise a number of red flags. While the craving for a summer meal only intensifies during the winter, we recommend using a stove top grill in your kitchen or purchasing a countertop grill to satisfy your cravings!.

4. Clean up any oil or gas spills in garages.

Long story short, accidents happen. Spill absorbent materials are sold at your local home improvement stores. If you don’t have any commercially sold spill absorbents, you can always use rags to soak up as much of the spilled fluids as possible. If you’re an avid Do-It-Yourselfer mastering the art of woodwork, collect and save the sawdust as it also acts as an effective spill absorbent. Removing the presence of any flammable or explosive materials is always the first step to fire prevention.

What about cooking oil spills in the kitchen?
Great question! You’re going to want to clean these spills with the same amount of effort. Use any absorbent paper towels or rags to remove large amounts of the oil, then be sure to use a sponge or mop with soap to get rid of any remaining oil residue on your kitchen counter or floors.

5. Maintain a clean and clutter-free environment in general, but especially around furnaces, vents and doorways.

You’re probably wondering, what does clutter have to do with fire safety? The fact of the matter is, the less there is in an area, the less there is to catch fire in general. Fires spread in lateral and vertical directions by igniting materials adjacent to itself. So why should we keep clutter away from furnaces? Isn’t it a great area in the basement to store things around? Not really. For one, your HVAC technician will probably request you to keep the area clear so that they can easily service your furnace. Secondly, the furnace is a contained fire itself so it would be best to keep anything and everything away from it. A Whitby home was destroyed by a furnace fire in 2013. The furnace was also serviced three days before the fire occurred. Read more here.

Along with keeping areas surrounding vents clear, be sure to clean the area of any dust or lint. This is especially crucial in the laundry room. According to the NFPA, failure to clean the washer and dryer accounted for 32% of home fires in 2010 in the U.S. We suggest vacuuming over and inside your floor vent covers, as well as regularly emptying the dryer lint reservoir. It is also good practice to move the washer and dryer every two months to remove any dust and lint that collects behind the large appliances.The same can be done behind refrigerators and stoves in the kitchen. Tyler Johnson, of Dryer Vent Wizard, told Global News in 2014 that on average, there is a dryer fire in Ontario every two days. For more information and tips on preventing dryer fires, visit the full story here.

Keeping doorways clear of any clutter will not only make for a safer environment walking around everyday, but will not hinder a safe evacuation in case of emergency. Areas that are often neglected are doors that are on the side of homes, doors leading to garages, or walk-out basements.

There is an endless list of things you can do to create an environment conducive of greater and life safety. Ever wondering whether something in your home is safe or not? We suggest listening to your conscience. If you find yourself looking at an area in your home and your first reaction is, “this probably isn’t safe,” it most likely isn’t.

Are You Meeting the Legal Requirements for Fire Safety?

Stop! We know what you’re thinking. That we’re going to corner you into buying our services by using fire safety laws as leverage. Don’t worry, we’re playing in your side of the court. Knowing what you’re legally responsible for when it comes to fire safety is all about education, and that’s what we’re here to do. Educate you on the legal requirements for fire safety.

The number one document governing fire safety practices in our province is the Ontario Fire Code (OFC). It outlines the minimum requirements of fire safety to make your building legal, or bring it “up to code”. You’ve probably heard about the OFC either from your chosen fire alarm contractor, your local fire department, or a fire chief that has visited your building. There is a lot, and we know, a lot to be mindful of when it comes to adhering to the code. So let’s break it down for you in simpler terms. As a property manager, what are you responsible for? Click here to download our comprehensive, one-page summary of Fire Safety Maintenance Duties and follow along.

Inspections

From a testing and inspection perspective, there are a number of things that need to be done in intervals as little as daily to as long as every 15 years. Here’s a few examples (including, but not limited to):

  • Daily — Check exit lights to make sure they’re not damaged and still illuminated.
  • Weekly — Check that the dry pipe sprinkler system air pressure is being maintained.
  • Monthly — Inspect all fire hose stations.
  • Annually — Conduct a complete test of the fire alarm system by a qualified personnel.
  • Every 6 years — Replace the extinguishing agent in dry chemical fire extinguishers.

In our one-page Fire Safety Maintenance Duties summary, we’ve supplied you with the OFC references. If you’re getting curious of the implications, look up the referenced code and read more.

The Fire Safety Planfire safety plan box ontario fire code gta toronto

From an emergency planning perspective there are also a number of things to be aware of, but we’ll narrow it down to the top three for you. Let’s start with the basis of it all, the Fire Safety Plan (FSP), Subsection 2.8.2. of the OFC. The FSP is a comprehensive document that provides the emergency procedures to be followed in the event of a fire. It also includes a list of supervisory staff and their responsibilities, documents and diagrams of the building’s design with all fire alarm devices labeled, provisions and procedures for fire drills, maintenance duties and assigned tasks for building owners or chosen contractors on prescribed intervals (quite similar to our Fire Safety Maintenance Duties summary), and alternative safety measures in the event that any fire protection systems are shut down. The FSP is to remain on site, at all times, in a designated location approved by the fire department. It is also to be reviewed in intervals no greater than 12 months, or as necessary. If any changes are made to the building’s fire alarm system, or the physical building itself, the fire safety plan and appropriate documents are to be revised to reflect the changes.

The FSP must be distributed to the designated supervisory staff for their reference. Building owners and supervisory staff must be aware of their responsibilities as outlined in the FSP. Fire and life safety companies often offer Fire Warden Training for the supervisory staff. This can include a walk through of the buildings Fire Safety Plan, a Fire Drill, and additional education such as Fire Extinguisher training.

The Fire Drill

egress-exit-signage-emergency-lighting-photoluminescent_green-running-manThe Fire Drill, dun dun dun…The OFC outlines the requirements of a fire drill in Subsection 2.8.3. and we suggest you go through it thoroughly. However, there are a few things to consider when it comes to conducting fire drills. Depending on the nature of your building in terms of its occupancy type, the frequency of fire drills required within a 12-month period can vary. No matter what, there must be at least one fire drill over a 12-month period. You will also need consider whether you will be running the fire drill with only your supervisory staff or at a time where your building is at its usual operating occupancy. You will need to notify the chief fire official in advance, as well as your fire alarm and monitoring companies that you will be conducting a fire drill. Once the drill is over and you have consulted with your supervisory staff, the results are to be noted in the fire safety plan, OFC 2.8.3.4.(1). This record needs to be kept for at least 12 months after the fire drill, OFC 2.8.3.4.(2). Typical information to be recorded would include the following (but may not be limited to): the date, time, designated assistants, and comments which highlight what went well and what could be improved. Something worth keeping track of is how many people were evacuated and in what amount of time. It is good practice to create a benchmark for your fire drills so it becomes easier to measure inefficiencies when conducting future drills.

Keeping up with everything we mentioned above is a good start to making sure you’re adhering to the legal requirements for fire safety. How can you be completely sure that your building meets all requirements? Consult with your fire safety company and the local fire department.

Fire Protection for Persons Needing Assistance: 3 Things to Consider

Buildings in the Greater Toronto Area have taken steps in ensuring that they are accessible to everyone, regardless of any physical or non-physical limitations. What we may often forget is that accessibility is a two way street, that is to say, just as easily as we can have someone enter a building, they need to be able to exit it as well. There are many factors that come into play when trying to make your building(s) completely accessible; entering and exiting. There are obvious peripherals that enhance a building’s accessibility. Although this isn’t the most comprehensive list, you can expect to see devices such as ramps adjacent to stairways, elevators adjacent to indoor stairwells, wider doorways, and automatic doors.

But let’s take a step back and think about the term Persons Needing Assistance. Persons needing assistance can be anyone who has a cognitive or physical limitation, whether temporary or permanent. Temporary physical limitations can include (but are not limited to) persons with broken/fractured/sprained limbs, pregnant women, or the elderly. Permanent cognitive limitations can include (but are not limited to) anyone who suffers from a mental illness which hinders their decision making abilities in an emergency situation. Permanent physical limitations can include (but are not limited to) persons who are suffering from paraplegia or the elderly. As you can probably tell, we’ve only grazed the surface of how broad the term is. The most important thing to remember is that persons needing assistance are not exclusively those with physical limitations.

Now that we have a general idea of who would need assistance when it comes to an evacuation or any fire protection emergency, let’s get into what needs to be done about it. Here are the 3 Things to Consider when reviewing your Fire Protection for Persons Needing Assistance.

The Ontario Fire Code: Provisions for Persons Needing Assistance in the Fire Safety Plan

The Ontario Fire Code (OFC) requires that the Fire Safety Plan includes special provisions for Persons Needing Assistance. Subsection 2.8.2.1.(2) “A Fire Safety Plan shall (a) provide the emergency procedures to be followed in case of fire, including (iv) evacuating occupants, including special provisions for persons requiring assistance.” Furthermore, the OFC also “provides for the appointment and organization of supervisory staff to carry out fire safety duties.” Subsection 2.8.2.1.(2)(b). This is especially crucial in care, care and treatment, and retirement home occupancies. – OFC 2.8.2.2.(1) What exactly defines these types of occupancies? See the following excerpt from the Ontario Fire Code, Section 1.4:

  • Care Occupancy: an occupancy in which special care is provided by a facility, directly through its staff or indirectly through another provider, to residents of the facility
    • (a) who require special care because of cognitive or physical limitations, and
    • (b) who, as a result of those limitations, would be incapable of evacuating the occupancy, if necessary, without the assistance of another person.
  • Care and Treatment Occupancy: an occupancy in which persons receive special care and treatment.
  • Retirement Home: a retirement home regulated under the Retirement Homes Act, 2010, regardless of whether it is a care occupancy or a residential occupancy.

*Please note that although these provisions are emphasized an a care-type occupancy, it is still required in other types of occupancy where persons needing assistance are present.

Create a list in your Fire Safety Plan which provides the names and locations of persons needing assistance in your building. It will also be helpful to include the type of assistance required, and which supervisory staff has been assigned to help the individual.

Alerting Systems

We’ve all seen those commercials for wearable alerting systems, and those are definitely helpful. But once again, let’s keep this idea of accessibility as a two way street. Any pull station or wearable button alerting system creates an outbound signal. Let’s consider how to alert a tenant or resident if a conventional horn or strobe light would not be effective. Some buildings are equipped with horns and strobes as separate devices, some of them are combination devices. If a tenant is deaf and unable to hear the alerting signal created by a horn, it is vital to ensure that there is a strobe device installed which acts as a sufficient alerting system. The situation is very similar when it comes to tenants that are blind. The strobe light alerting system would not be effective in this case, so it is vital to ensure that the horns installed are working as per their required operation. As per NFPA 72, fire alarm notification devices must be a minimum of 15 dB (decibels) above the average ambient sound level. There are also horns available on the market that create a vibrating sensation throughout the area or floor on which it is installed. This may be an ideal device to install when considering effective alerting systems. As always, it is the responsibility of the supervisory staff to ensure a safe evacuation of all tenants in a building, especially those requiring assistance.

Assisted Evacuation

In most cases than not, elevators are programmed to retreat to the ground floor and remain out of use during a fire safety emergency. As you can imagine, this makes evacuation troublesome for persons needing assistance, especially those who may be immobile. We advise keeping collapsible wheelchairs on each floor of your building for those who may require it during an evacuation. Make a note in your fire safety plan to ensure that the supervisory staff are aware of these immobile persons. You may need to assign two people to each immobile person in order to wheel them to a hazard-free stairwell, and then lift them down either with or without the chair. In a previous blog, we covered useful devices for a safe evacuation. Check out the Evacuscape Chair and SkySaverUSA by visiting the blog here.

Awareness

We know we said the “3 things to consider” but here’s a bonus one. As with most things, raising awareness on a topic creates an environment conducive of forward-thinking. If you are a property manager, take the time to speak with your tenants to understand their needs in case of an emergency. If you are a tenant, approach your property manager with any concerns you may have when it comes to ensuring your safe evacuation. Participate in a fire drill to understand what is to be done in case of emergency, especially when evacuating persons needing assistance. Remember, an emergency will not wait until you have this conversation.

If you are wondering whether or not your building is accessible, both for entering and exiting, feel free to reach out to us. We can work with you to understand how to prepare your building and its tenants for an evacuation involving persons needing assistance.

The 4 Types of Fire Sprinkler Systems

Sprinkler systems; they can’t be that complicated, right? They really are not that complicated, but it’s a good idea to know what a sprinkler system consists of, how it works and the various types that can be used in buildings.

Wet Sprinkler System

A common misconception is that a wet sprinkler is the only type of sprinkler system out there. It tends to be the most popular but it is not the only type. So what exactly is a wet sprinkler system? It is a system in which there is water constantly in the pipes. Once the heat-detecting glass bulb or link on the sprinkler head bursts as a result of a fire, water is dispersed from the sprinkler head immediately. It is the system which has the fastest reaction time as there is always water throughout the sprinkler piping system. A wet sprinkler system is best suited and recommended in areas that maintain steady temperatures above freezing level. Examples where you will encounter sprinkler heada wet sprinkler system can include, but are not limited to, office buildings, residential buildings, retail spaces, schools or hospitals.

It is vital to maintain a sufficient temperature in areas where a wet sprinkler system is installed in order to prevent the water within the pipes from freezing. As we all know, water expands when it freezes. This causes the sprinkler piping to crack which leads to inevitable leaks. ProFire has been called into buildings where a frozen pipe has thawed and then caused a leak. We always advise our clients to maintain sufficient temperatures in cooler than usual areas. Consider areas such as lobbies, foyers and enclosures where a lobby is separated by two doors from the outside. These areas are notorious for fluctuating temperatures due to the exposure to cold temperatures.

Dry Sprinkler System

If a wet system constantly has water throughout the sprinkler system, you probably guessed what a dry sprinkler system is all about. That’s right; there is no water throughout the sprinkler system piping! So how exactly does it work? A dry sprinkler system holds pressurized air throughout the system. Once the heat-detecting glass bulb or link in the sprinkler head bursts as a result of a fire, the air must escape before water passes through the system. City Water is available in the sprinkler riser and is held down using a clapper. Once the sprinkler heads release the air which was held throughout the system, the air and water equalizes and water rushes past the clapper, flowing through the sprinkler system. It is important to note that the water must reach the sprinkler head furthest from the riser within 60 seconds or less. This is why it is vital that the air and water pressure is checked on a weekly basis (as required by the Ontario Fire Code). Dry sprinkler systems are ideal for a number of applications, similar to a wet sprinkler system, but are especially suitable for buildings and areas where there is little to no heat. You may find dry sprinkler systems in grocery stores in and near refrigerated areas, cold storage manufacturing plants, and parking garages with no heat.  

Pre-Action Sprinkler System

We might have stumped you here, although it’s quite simple when we go through it. Let’s set some context first. We know that the water dispersed from the sprinkler heads is meant to extinguish the fire when the system is activated. However, there are some applications wherein a lot of damage can happen as a result of a fire being extinguished by a sprinkler system. Consider places such as libraries, data centres, or rooms occupied with high value electronics. In order to minimize the amount of damage, the sprinkler system can be configured in a way that isolates the fire and only disperses water in that area. This is what a pre-action system allows us to do. A pre-action system is essentially a security system for a wet sprinkler system. A building equipped with a wet system can also have a pre-action configuration. Consider a wet system with piping that branches into Rooms A, B & C. Room C is home to a number of computers and servers which would be severely damaged if exposed to water. A pre-action configuration means a trigger is installed at the beginning of the pipe segment entering into Room C. In order for the sprinkler system to disperse water, two zones have to be activated. This can be done by the means of smoke or heat detectors. If there is a fire in Room A and the sprinkler system is activated, the water will not disperse in Room C where the computers and servers are until it detects smoke or heat in that room. This prevents unnecessary damage if there isn’t any real danger within that room.

Deluge Sprinkler System

deluge sprinkler systemIt’s still English, we promise! Deluge means a severe flood and that’s exactly what this type of sprinkler system does. A deluge system is equipped with sprinkler heads that are in an always-open state. There are no temperature-sensitive glass bulbs or links that need to burst before water can pass through it. When the system is activated, water floods the area in which the system is activated and extinguishes the fire by covering the entire area aggressively. Because of this always-open state of the sprinkler heads, this system is similar to a pre-action system in that it requires a two-stage trigger to activate it. A manual pull station is installed along with heat detectors to activate the system. Deluge sprinkler systems are best suited for areas where there are hazardous and/or flammable liquids; places such as chemical and petro-chemical plants. It is also common for these areas to have little to no heat. These systems do not hold water or air in the system as the sprinkler heads are always open.

See a deluge sprinkler system in action! This system uses a foam extinguishing agent for an airplane hangar.

Click here to watch now!

FM200 Fire Suppression System

FM200 is the successor of the previously well-known Halon fire suppression gas. Halon was banned and phased out of use due to environmental reasons. The FM200 fire suppression system works in the same way the Halon system used to. It is stored in large tanks within the room it is meant to extinguish the fire in. These systems are equipped with a manual pull station locked with a pin (alike to fire extinguishers), and the room also contains heat and smoke detectors as well. FM200 extinguishes a fire by suffocating it just as previous Halon systems did. With Halon, no one could be present in the room in which the suppression system has been activated. If activated, anyone in the room has a limited amount of time to evacuate before their health is severely affected by Halon. However, with FM200, the gas suffocates the fire while still being safe to breathe. Alike to a pre-action configuration, FM200 systems are installed in places where there are high value electronics, archives, libraries, computers and/or data centres. In this case, one may choose to install this system if even a limited amount of water would cause severe damage to whatever is present in the room. The tanks of FM200 gas are relatively expensive to replace if a system were to be mistakenly activated, as such, the pull pin prevents accidental activation of the system.

As you can tell, there is a lot more to sprinkler systems than what meets the eye. We’ll leave you with a few things to think about and some tips to keep in mind for maintaining your sprinkler system:

  • Consider your building and and its sprinkler system. Ask yourself whether you have the correct system installed, or whether a more appropriate system would be better.
  • Be sure to conduct weekly checks of your pressure gauges to ensure there aren’t any air or water leaks.
  • Maintain sufficient temperatures in suites, hallways and lobbies to keep wet systems from freezing.
  • Although sprinkler heads are installed in the ceiling, they do hang under the ceiling level and can be damaged if hit by an object. Keep the area around sprinkler heads clear so that water can be dispersed, or a contractor has access to it for any repairs.
  • If you suspect a leak from your sprinkler system, let your fire alarm/sprinkler system company know immediately. They will walk you through how to trace the leak and/or shut off the system while they make their way to your building for an emergency service call.

Related topics:

 

How Can I Teach my Children About Fire Safety and Prevention?

The first thing that popped into your head was, “A fire drill, of course. They do it at school already so that should be enough, right?” It could give children a general idea of the procedures in case of an emergency but it doesn’t teach them enough about fire safety and prevention. Each child is comfortable learning in their own way, and you can leverage that by knowing the basics of the seven learning styles: Visual (use of images and pictures), Auditory (use of sound and music), Verbal (use of words, both orally and written), Kinesthetic/Tactile (use of hands/touch, movement), Logical (use of logic and reasoning), Social (interpersonal, learning in a group), or Solitary (intrapersonal, learning alone).

You wouldn’t need to identify a single learning style, because let’s be real, no one learns with only one learning style. Many use a combination of styles which makes up their preferred learning style. Find out works for your children and leverage it accordingly. Once you have that figured out, here are a few activities that we think would be helpful in teaching children about fire safety and prevention.

Let’s start with the evacuation itself:

  1. Draft up a simple floor plan of your home/apartment/condominium with all possible exits and have your child draw what they think the best evacuation plan is. If they happen to draw the correct path (one that you think is most appropriate), ask them to explain why they think it is the best route. If they happen to draw an evacuation plan which you may not think is the most effective, ask them to explain their reasoning. You never know, they may uncover something you’ve never thought of when considering an evacuation. This also allows the opportunity for you to explain why their route may not be the best, and why your Children Fire Safety and Preventionchosen route is most effective. Be sure to repeat the process with finding an alternate route if the chosen route is blocked by a fire or any debris, Learning styles used: Visual, Verbal, and Logic.
  2. After you have drafted an evacuation route with your child/children, take the time to rehearse it. Ask your child/children what they think should be the first thing to do when they notice a fire, or are alerted of one. Alike to drafting an evacuation route, allow them the opportunity to explain their reasoning, correcting them as you feel necessary. Be sure to write down the steps in your evacuation plan. Once you have your evacuation route, an alternate route, and an agreed evacuation plan, rehearse and time it. Follow up with anything you notice the children should improve on. Learning styles used: Verbal, Kinesthetic, Logical.

Now on to fire prevention:

  1. The first step in fire prevention around the household is education and awareness. Teach children about flammable and explosive materials. Households are filled with a number of them, especially in cooking areas (cooking oils and gas lines), the garage (automotive fluids), and even in bathrooms (aerosol body sprays and air fresheners). Let children know where these materials are stored, and to keep away from those areas unless told otherwise. Learning styles used: Logical.
  2. Integrate your child/children into the use of these materials in a safe way. For example, one of the easiest ways of doing this is bringing your child/children into the kitchen while you cook. Explain why you use the materials you do in a certain way. Show your child how these materials are used safely in a controlled environment. Do the same with other flammable/explosive materials in your household. Learning styles used: Logical.
  3. Do you have a household fire extinguisher? If so, you probably want to make your child/children aware of its operation. In case of an emergency, it is always ideal and strongly suggested that an adult uses the extinguisher but there could be circumstances where a child may have to use it. As such, teach them the simple acronym: P.A.S.S. This acronym breaks down into the following: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever, and Sweep the extinguishing agent back and forth at the base of the fire. There are many videos online that show the correct use of a fire extinguisher. Here’s one that we find helpful: Fire Extinguisher Training (P.A.S.S.). Learning style used: Verbal.
  4. Households are filled with appliances which draw a considerable amount of power. There are a number of receptacles in a home which may be left uncovered, without anything plugged in. It is always a good idea to purchase outlet covers from your local home improvement store to safely occupy any vacant receptacles. Educate your child/children on keeping a safe distance from outlets unless they are told otherwise. If they are plugging anything in, ensure that the plug is inserted as far is it can go into the receptacle, preventing anything from coming in contact with the live prongs. Learning style used: Verbal.

Take a moment and walk around your home. If you have a gut feeling that something may not be safe, chances are, it probably isn’t. Have your child do this walk around with you and ask them if they notice anything amiss as well. Take the initiative to remove any fire hazards, or any other hazards around your home. Schedule some time with your family to discuss and thoroughly understand the fire safety measures for your home. Keep areas decluttered, exits clear of any obstructions, and unplug appliances when they’re not in use (steam irons, kettles, blenders). The key method of teaching your child about fire safety and prevention is keeping them involved instead of dictating the rules.

Fire & Life Safety, How Much Do You Know About It? Take this 60-second quiz!

We don’t expect you to know everything there is about fire safety and the Ontario Fire Code requirements, that’s what we’re here for! But there are a few things we feel are good to keep in the back of your mind when it comes to the fire safety of your property. Take 60 seconds and see how many of these 6 questions you know the answers to. (HINT: The answers to all 6 questions can be found on our website).

fire-safety-photoluminescent-PLM-exit-signage-green-running-man-egress-GTA-toronto

Fire & Life Safety, 60 seconds, GO!

    1. Exit lights should be checked on a(n) ___________ basis to ensure they are not damaged and that they are illuminated. OFC 2.7.3.1.
      1. Weekly
      2. Annual
      3. Daily
      4. Monthly
    2.  What type of test needs to be conducted every 12 years? OFC 6.2.7.1.
      1. Sprinkler pressure test
      2. Hydrostatic test of fire extinguishers
      3. Fire pump flow test
      4. Firefighters’ elevator operational test.
    3. Records of annual inspections must be kept on site at all times for a total of ____ consecutive years. OFC 1.1.2.1.(1)(2)(3)
      1. One
      2. Two
      3. Three
      4. Five
    4. Dwellings of more than ____ suites of residential occupancy are required to install carbon monoxide alarms by October 15, 2015. [Div. B, 2.16.1.1.(2), 6.3.4.7.(2)]
      1. Six
      2. Sixteen
      3. Sixty
      4. One-hundred
    5. The fire safety plan shall be reviewed as often as necessary, but at intervals not greater than _____________ , to ensure that it takes account of changes in the use and other characteristics of the building. OFC 2.8.2.1.(4)
      1. Six months
      2. Twelve months
      3. Eighteen months
      4. Twenty-four months
    6. What type of preventative maintenance should property managers conduct on their buildings entering into colder seasons?
      1. Changing emergency lighting back-up batteries.
      2. Conduct annual inspections before Winter starts.
      3. Drain drum drips.
      4. Flush out the sprinkler system.

So how’d you do?

Highlight the rest of this line to see the answers! 1c, 2b, 3b, 4a, 5b, 6c

  • 0-3 correct:You may need to brush up on your knowledge of fire safety and crucial code requirements.
  • 4/6 correct: Not bad! But we suggest browsing our website to learn more about fire safety.
  • 5/6 correct: Getting there! You’re nearly a pro!
  • 6/6 correct: Well we might have to just consult you for our fire safety needs! Congratulations!

If you have any questions regarding the information in the quiz, or fire safety in general, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Fire Safety on New Year’s Eve – Tips for a Safe 2016!

fire safety

New Year’s Eve is a time of fun and celebration always calls for awareness of safety. We at ProFire believe in having fun as much as possible, while ensuring that safety is your #1 priority. There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious things to be aware of on New Year’s Eve when it comes to the fire and life safety of you and your guests.

FIREWORKS

When it comes to fireworks, we suggest attending your local fireworks show put on by the municipality/city. These shows are put on by trained professionals and are conducted in safe, controlled environment. And there’s probably added entertainment like live music, snacks, and a great gathering of people! If you plan on doing fireworks on your private property, you need to:
  1. Ensure that you obtain a permit from your municipality, and;
  2. Ensure that the fireworks you purchase are legal for street use, purchased from an authorized seller. If you are concerned about your safety due to the misuse of fireworks by someone in your neighbourhood, contact your local municipality or law enforcement.

CANDLES

Candles make for great decoration around the home, and also creative a very celebratory environment during this festive season. Candles are a beautiful, but tiny form of fire. Keep candles a safe distance away from any flammable materials and ensure that they are contained in a sturdy jar. Be mindful of loose clothing or long hair when around candles. Only light candles in rooms which are occupied. If you are the last one to leave a room which has a candle in it, blow it out before leaving. Have a household fire extinguisher around in case of an emergency.

PARTIES

If you are planning on hosting a party, or are attending a party, be mindful of occupancy by-laws. Certain areas are authorized by law to hold a limited amount of people. Be sure to know what the evacuation procedures are in case of an emergency, and communicate them to your guests if you are hosting a party.

Attending a party? Park your vehicle in an authorized area, out of the way of any designated fire routes. Due to the unpredictability of the weather in the Greater Toronto Area this season, it is always a good idea to have a portable engine block heater and a set of jump start cables. We advise parking outside if you use an auto-starter to warm up your car. Idling your car for a long period of time in a closed parking garage can create carbon monoxide. Anyone walking through the parking garage can be affected by this silent, scentless and invisible gas.

As always, be safe and responsible. Do not drink and drive, assign a designated driver or plan to spend the night. If you will be spending the night, be sure to adhere to overnight parking by-laws. (City of Toronto Parking PermitsCity of Brampton Parking Permits).  Look up the appropriate by-laws based on the municipality you will be in and obtain a parking permit if necessary.

We wish you all Happy Holidays and a very Happy New Year!

The 12 Days of Christmas; Fire Alarm Style!

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to serenade you with a carol this holiday season; a carol with a bit of a spin! Follow the rhythm and tune of the ’12 Days of Christmas’, grab a mic, and sing along with us! 

CLICK HERE for a Karaoke version to sing along!
Looking for some Holiday Safety tips? We’ve got you covered! Check out the 12 Days of Holiday Safety.

christmas

On the FIRST day of Christmas
My true love gave to me;
A fire hose in a cabinet.On the SECOND day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Two smoke detectors and;
A fire hose in a cabinet.

On the THIRD day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the FOURTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the FIFTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the SIXTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the SEVENTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Seven pipes a-draining;
six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the EIGHTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Eight alarms a-ringing;
seven pipes a-draining;
six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.On the NINTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Nine strobes flashing;
eight alarms a-ringing;
seven pipes a-draining;
six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the TENTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Ten techs inspecting;
nine strobes flashing;
eight alarms a-ringing;
seven pipes a-draining;
six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

On the ELEVENTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Eleven sirens singing;
ten techs testing;
nine strobes flashing;
eight alarms a-ringing;
seven pipes a-draining;
six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.On the TWELFTH day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me:
Twelve sprinklers sprinkling;
eleven sirens singing;
ten techs testing;
nine strobes flashing;
eight alarms a-ringing;
seven pipes a-draining;
six horns a-blaring;
five drum drips;
four exit lights;
three pull stations;
two smoke detectors and;
a fire hose in a cabinet.

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Happy Halloween! Wondering how much candy to buy?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN – Trick or Treat?!

Our treat to you – Safety Tips for a Fun Halloween!

Halloween_header

Safety, safety, safety – it’s a concern for every occasion or holiday. While Halloween is full of spooky fun and yummy treats, we’d like to offer you some tips to keep you and your families safe on this spooktacular weekend!

Safety Tips

  • When shopping for costumes for your children, look for flame-resistant materials without long or trailing fabric.
  • Supply your child with reflective arm bands so they are visible to others in the dark.
  • Make your home safe for trick-or-treaters by keeping steps and porches free of obstructions such as extension cords and decorations.
  • Ensure that cables and lights used for outdoor decorations are rated for outdoor use.
  • Use battery powered lights to illuminate pumpkins instead of candles.

Find more safety tips for Halloween from:

How much candy should you buy?

We’ve all tried to predict the number of kids coming around to trick-or-treat in our neighbourhoods and we can’t seem to get it right. Either we get too much or too little. Here’s something that will help you out! A “Trick-or-Treater” Density map has been put together based on research done by Stats Canada. Simply search your geographical area and see how much candy you’ll be treating!

Click the map to get started.

Trick_or_teaters_density_map_Canada

 

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Helpful Products for Safe High-Rise Evacuation

Evacuation comes with a number of contingencies. Blocked exits, persons needing assistance, injured tenants; the list is endless. Consider a few of the following scenarios: What would someone do in a high-rise emergency if they can’t leave their room? What about people needing assistance; how would they safely evacuate a building if the elevators have been recalled to a designated floor? Here are a couple helpful products that could be useful to you:

SkySaverUSAskysaverusa evacuation backpack

The SkySaver Rescue Device is a portable escape system equipped in a simple backpack. This product can be installed in high-rises, and can carry upto 300 lbs. The backpack houses 80, 160, or 260 feet of cable (depending on the model) that helps an individual descend from a window. The backpack cable system attaches to a secure anchor point and allows a safe descent of up to 2 meters per second. Click the video for a product demo! 

Evacuscapeevacuscape evacuation chair

Evacuscape is a product which has been showcased at Toronto property management trade shows within the last two years. It is a wheelchair-like device equipped with a rubberized track system. This track system grips descending stairs, allowing someone to help a person needing assistance down a stairwell to safe evacuation. The person in the Evacuscape chair is securely strapped into the seat. Click the video for a product demo!

Disclaimer: Before implementing any of these devices in your building, confer with your property manager and/or condo board for approval. ProFire Safety Services is in no way affiliated with SkySaverUSA nor with Evacuscape. We declare no affiliation, sponsorship, nor any partnerships with either company, nor any registered trademarks.

Have a question about safe evacuation? We will work with you to develop a reliable fire safety plan and conduct a fire drill. Contact us now!

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