North Bay Fire Chief Jason Whiteley is urging everyone not to forget about fire safety as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As people find themselves spending more time at home for work, self-isolation, or practicing physical distancing, they should remember the importance of preventing home fires," he says in a news release.
"Along with other essential services, the fire department has had to implement safeguards and physical distancing protocols in the workplace. For residents in apartment buildings that experience a fire alarm; we are reminding residents that evacuate to practise social distancing for the safety of your neighbours and responding emergency personnel. Please do not congregate in the lobby area and exit the building completely."
Whiteley is also urging the public to remain vigilant in the ongoing battle to prevent unintentional fires and injuries by practicing fire prevention and fire safety during these extraordinary times.
“Regardless of the circumstances, additional time at home with family members provides an excellent opportunity to discuss fire safety and review your home fire escape plan.”
Here are some simple things that people can do to protect themselves and their families:
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms using the test button. If the alarm fails to sound, check and replace batteries if necessary. Make sure everyone knows the sound of the alarms.
- Develop or review your home fire escape plan to make sure everyone in the household knows what to do if a fire occurs. Make sure to designate someone to help older adults, children, and anyone else who may need help to escape.
- Use care when using and recharging electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, or mobile devices. Check electrical cords and charge cables to ensure they are in good condition. Don’t overload electrical circuits. Avoid placing electronics on soft surfaces like beds or upholstered furniture when recharging to avoid the risk of overheating.