Fire Safety Tips to Protect What Matters Most

Loss Prevention

Household fires are devastating. Every year, they cause significant damage, destroying valuable possessions that cannot be replaced, and in the worst cases, can cause serious injuries or claim lives.

The most common cause of kitchen fires is from cooking with oil or grease. This type of fire is one of the fastest spreading and most destructive type of house fires. Want to know how to keep your family, home, business and your valuable possessions safe? Look at these essential tips.

In the kitchen

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep children away when you are cooking or watch them closely if they are helping.
  • Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing as it could catch on pot handles and catch fire.
  • Never use water to extinguish a grease or oil fire as this will make the flames spread.
  • Smother a grease or oil fire by sliding a lid over the top of the pan.
  • Turn off the burner as soon as you’re finished cooking.
  • Clean the stove hood exhaust, vents and grease traps frequently.
  • Turn pot handles inward to reduce the risk of accidentally overturning the pot and to prevent children from grabbing them.
  • Keep your cooking area free of clutter and combustible items (towels, rags, utensils, etc.)
  • Use oven mitts—never a towel—when removing items from the oven.

Deep fryers and turkey fryers

  • Never use a turkey fryer indoors.
  • Heat cooking oil slowly and check the temperature frequently. If oil is heated past 350°F, the vapours from the oil can ignite causing serious damage or injury.
  • Never leave the fryer unattended and keep children away from it. Turn it off as soon as you finish cooking.
  • Keep fryers away from walls, fences, garages and other structures. Make sure they are used on a flat surface to avoid tipping.
  • Do not overfill fryers. Leave plenty of room at the top to prevent accidental spills.
  • Thaw your turkey for 24 to 48 hours before placing it in the fryer; hand-dry the turkey to make sure no moisture remains.
  • Use thermostatically controlled deep fat fryers rather than a pot or pan on a stovetop to reduce burns and fire hazards.

Electrical fires

MOST IMPORTANT: Don’t plug too many appliances into one outlet.

  • Make sure fuses and circuit breakers are working properly. Don’t use a fuse or breaker rated at more than the capacity of the circuit. See related blog on over fusing here.
  • Use extension cords that are rated appropriately for your appliances. They should have a recognized seal of approval–usually Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC). See related blog on extension cords here.
  • Never use water to extinguish electrical fires, since there is a high risk of electrocution.
  • Don’t exceed the maximum bulb wattage specified by the maker of any lighting equipment.

Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers

  • Install smoke detectors on every floor of your home.
  • Test smoke detectors regularly and change batteries at least twice a year.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher on each floor and learn how to use them. Ask your supplier how to have your extinguisher serviced and inspected.

Want to be sure? Talk to your Broker if you have questions about fire safety. They can arrange an inspection of your home to identify hazards that are usually easily corrected. And, remember to keep your Broker up to date on any changes you make to your home to ensure you are properly protected in the event of a claim.