The Town of Caledon is reaching out to the community to participate in a challenge that will educate the whole family on fire safety.
The Fire Escape Plan challenge began on February 8 and is running until February 15. With families working remotely, and kids still attending online school, it is now the perfect time to teach and learn how to organize a fire escape plan.
Provided by the Town and Caledon Fire Department, a home escape plan grid is available on the Town’s website, where families can download, and print it at home.
Using the provided grid, families are to draw a floor plan of their home, including all possible emergency exits and alternative escape routes.
The next step is to choose who will help who in the family get out, if there are older adults in the household or individuals with disabilities. A meeting place is to be chosen outside, specifically a spot that everyone in the family can remember.
Last but not least is to call the fire department while outside. It’s recommended to practise this escape plan twice a year to keep it fresh in all members of the household’s minds.
“With many family members still at home for work or school, it’s important that everyone have and practice a fire escape plan. We are challenging all Caledon families to practice fire prevention and fire safety in a fun way for the entire family,” said Fire Chief Darryl Bailey.
The challenge is to take a photo of your family organizing or practising the home escape plan and posting it on social media platforms using the hashtag #StayFireSafe.
“What better time to create and practice a home fire escape plan then over the upcoming Family Day weekend,” said Bailey. “The right preventative steps can save your and your loved ones lives.”
Caledon Fire shares potential hazards in the home that commonly cause fires, and how they can be prevented.
These include always supervising when cooking and keeping a lid over a pot with cooking oil. Your stove should always be kept clean and free of grease, and to keep paper and tea towels away from any source of heat.
All malfunctioning appliances should be turned off and unplugged as electrical equipment failure and overheating can cause a house fire.
Proper light bulbs should be used for all light fixtures. Damaged and broken plugs and cords should be replaced, as well as cords that have been tightly bound, which can overheat. If a fuse blows or your circuit breaker trips, an electrician should come in and find a solution and install more outlets.
Flammable and combustible materials should never be used or stored near any sources of heat.
All natural gas and propane appliances should be checked to be properly installed and are functionally normally.
Residents should also ensure that all fuel-burning equipment has the necessary ventilation, and all exhaust vents are clear.
Families should ensure that they are maintaining and properly using wood-burning fireplaces or stoves at home.
Caledon Fire encourages that any doors are kept closed unless adding wood to the fire, as well as only burning wood that is split and dry.
For more information on joining Fire Escape Plan Challenge or learning how to prevent fires in the home, visit Caledon.ca/fire.
Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen