Fire Safety Tips
The Fire Prevention Division is responsible for keeping the citizens and visitors of Scarborough safe from fire, accidental injuries, and other hazards. See below for a collection of useful fire safety tips and information.
- Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by 50%.
- Place smoke alarms on each level of your residence including the basement. Place them inside every bedroom on the ceiling, outside each separate area of the direct surroundings of the bedroom, at the top of open stairways, and on the bottom of enclosed stairways, and near (but not in) the kitchen.
- Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least twice a year, or as soon as the low battery warning alarm "chirps." (A good moment is to change the batteries twice a year and to change them when we change the clock which is both easy to remember and also easy to adapt as a habit).
- Replace smoke alarms once every 10 years.
- Consider installing an automatic fire sprinkler system in your home.
- Once awakened by your smoke alarm, shout to make sure that all family members are awake.
Source / Additional Information: FEMA.gov - U.S. Fire Administration.
Escaping a Fire
- Prepare for a fire emergency with your family and draw up an escape plan. Two ways out of each bedroom is a requirement. A window can be a second exit. Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature, so they can be easily opened from the inside. Practice using them.
- Escape ladders are a must if your residence has more than one level. They are available through larger hardware stores at a reasonable price. Make sure everyone in your home learns how to use them ahead of time. Practice using them. Store them near the windows where they will be used.
- Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire. Keep your mouth covered because smoke contains toxic gases which can disorient you, or worse overcome you. Practice escaping from your home and low crawling and feeling your way out of the house in the dark or with closed eyes.
- Check doors before opening them to make sure it is safe on the other side by feeling the door and looking for smoke leaking around the edges. If you believe it is safe to open, then do so bit by bit and be ready to slam it shut if heat and smoke rush in. Never open a door that is warm to touch.
- Immediately leave the house without wasting any time; take the safest route. Do not let children look for favorite toys or even the family pet. Fire moves fast!
Fire Escape Planning
- Remember to escape first, and then call 911 or the proper local emergency number for your area. Designate one person to go to a neighbor's home to phone the fire department.
- Teach children not to hide from firefighters.
- Design a meeting location away from the house, but not necessarily across the street. For example, meet under a specific tree or at the end of the driveway or front sidewalk to make sure everyone has gotten out safely, and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe.
- If someone is missing, tell the firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.
- Never go back into a burning house for any reason. Once out, stay out!
Source / Additional Information: FEMA.gov - U.S. Fire Administration
There is no simpler way of letting emergency personnel know who to contact should you be involved in an accident than by using ICE. Standing for “In Case of Emergency”, ICE will allow Firefighters, EMT’s and Police Officers to quickly contact a nominated person in the event of an emergency.
The ICE concept was developed by Bob Brotchie, a Cambridge-based paramedic who works for the East Anglian Ambulance NHS Trust in England. He realized that most accident victims carried no information identifying next of kin or medical history with them. Although, he did find that most victims carried a cell phone.
How it Works
- Create a new contact on your mobile device. When naming the contact, type the acronym ICE followed by the person's name (for example, ICE - Mom or ICE - David).
- Enter the person's phone number(s) and save the contact
- It is important you tell your ICE contact that you have nominated them
Follow these hints to get the best out of ICE:
- Make sure the person whose name and number you are giving has agreed to be your ICE partner
- Make sure your ICE person's number is one that's easy to contact, for example a home number could be useless in an emergency if the person works full time
- Make sure your ICE partner knows about any medical conditions that could affect your emergency treatment - for example allergies or current medication and or medical history
- Make sure if you are under 18, your ICE partner is a parent or guardian authorized to make decision on your behalf - for example if you need a life or death operation
- Should your preferred contact be deaf, then prefix the number with ICETEXT