Fire Safety 101: Here are some important lessons for students
Ontario. If something is on the stove, someone should be in the kitchen monitoring it until it is done. All combustibles should be stored away from the stove, including tea towels, paper towels and wooden or plastic spoons.
To minimize the effect of a stovetop fire, a pot lid should be nearby in order to stifle the flames. Even better, consider buying a fire extinguisher for the kitchen. Make sure it is suitable for kitchen fires, which often include grease.
Candles are another leading cause of fires. Consider using tea lights and votive candles in non-combustible containers, which are safer than open-taper candles. All candles should be placed away from combustibles and in a location where they cannot be knocked over. Candles should be blown out before leaving the room or going to bed.
Even if students do not smoke themselves, they may well have friends who do. Fires caused by cigarettes can be deadly. Smokers should be asked to smoke only outside. If a tenant allows smoking in their apartment, the tenant should use large, deep ashtrays to reduce the risk of fire from ashes and cigarette butts igniting rugs or upholstery. They also need to allow cigarette ashes to cool completely before disposing of them.
Parties are commonplace among students. When accompanied with the consumption of alcohol, cooking or smoking can lead to dangerous situations. At a party, a tenant can encourage partygoers to smoke outside. A tenant can even post “no smoking” signs to direct smokers outdoors. For parties especially, occupants should avoid lighting candles, since they can easily be knocked over and come into contact with combustibles.
Ottawa winters are cold, and as a result, central heat- ing is often supplemented by space heaters. Space heaters should be kept away from combustibles, like paper, bedding, furniture and curtains. They should be turned off before leaving the apartment or house, or going to bed.
Electrical equipment can cause fires. Occupants should refrain from the permanent use of extension cords. When in use, make sure extension cords are not concealed under carpets and rugs where they can be damaged, thus leading to a fire. Instead, a ULC-listed power bar with a circuit breaker and surge protector is a good option.
All living accommodations are required to have smoke alarms in order to alert their inhabitants to a fire. Landlords are obligated by law to provide one or sometimes more functioning smoke alarms. However, a tenant can purchase an additional smoke alarm for their bedroom if they choose to.
Tenants must not disable or tamper with a smoke alarm. That is dangerous and against the law. If a smoke alarm activates too much due to cooking or washing, then the appropriate action is to discuss with the landlord whether the alarms can be moved to a different location within the apartment.