This morning I woke up to the smell of burning. After doing a panicked room to room check, I realized it was the smell of dust burning on the base heaters that have not been turned on since before the summer. Thank you chilly October for pointing out what a crappy housekeeper I am.
But that and the ‘storms’ that have been rolling across the Lower Mainland for the last few days got me thinking. This week (October 9 to the 15th is Fire Prevention Week. It is the perfect time of year for Duracell and the Canadian Associations of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) to help raise awareness for smoke alarm maintenance and general fire safety prevention measures.
Being that we live in an ‘electric’ house and our smoke detectors are wired – I will admit to being a bit lazy and not paying as much attention to the ‘change your battery’ messages and we don’t use Carbon Monoxide detectors because it isn’t an issue in our house. BUT. The stormy weather made me realize that ‘wired’ detectors are probably NOT enough and we need to invest in battery powered smoke detectors because what would happen if our power was knocked out?
This year the CAFC and Duracell Quantum would like to stress the message of ‘Don’t Wait, Check the Date.‘ Meaning…make replacing the batteries in your detectors a habit marked in your calender and test them once a month. The fall is a perfect time to revisit your safety plans for the family too. Be sure to go over the plan with your family and even create a special day each year where you all practice your fire drill. This way, you and your family can be prepared if a fire should occur.
Another great idea for a fall review is to look at all your electrical outlets. I just did a bit reorganization of all the wires and plugged in items in my daughters room. If your devices aren’t in use, check that they’re turned off and unplugged from their outlet. Also, when buying your devices, look for approval by a recognized listed agency like the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
And to avoid burning dust smells – CLEAN!! Clean your chimneys and fireplaces BEFORE starting them up again in the chilly weather. This goes for space heaters too. It is also a good time to remind your family about cooking safety. My kids are big enough to cook for themselves more and more, so making sure they are safe when doing it is crucial.
So…to reiterate the key messages here: Replace, Plan, Unplug, Clean, Focus. All good words to use from CAFC and Duracell when talking to your family about Fire Prevention not just this week but every week of the year.
Stay safe during the stormy weather people!