October 6-12, 2019 is Fire Prevention Awareness Week!

The National Fire Prevention Week is October 6-12th this year, so now is the perfect time to get more conscious about staying safe from and preventing fires in your home, work building, or anywhere really!

Most home insurance policies and other types of insurance policies take the risk of fires into account, so we also want to educate consumers on the best fire prevention and planning practices.

As found on the Government of BC website page for Fire Prevention Week, the week’s slogan is:

Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan & Practice Your Escape!™

The slogan reminds us that we are all responsible for preventing — and being safe from — fires. Not only should we work to educate ourselves in learning to prevent fires and stay safe from fires as much as possible, but we should also plan on what to do if/when the tragedy of fire takes place.


There are many ways we can learn to prevent fires and stay safe from them. From being smart with specific appliances and cooking consciously to supervising correctly and more. Here are some simple ways to avoid and stay safe from fires.

Be Conscious About Cooking Appliances

One of the most common causes of fires is cooking appliances, one of the most used home heating forms. A stove or an oven can easily catch fire if not used or appropriately supervised. Even an electric stove, a bit safer than a gas stove, can start a fire if something flammable is touching the heat and something is left on the stove to heat or cook unattended. The same goes for ovens.

cooking appliances Harbord Insurance

Keep An Eye On Candles, Fireplaces, And Firepits

Another common cause of fires comes from open flames themselves. Open fires can be hazardous, whether they are big or small. If not correctly used or well-supervised, things like candles and fireplaces can easily cause a fire. Always keep a close eye on any open flames within the building or home, and also make sure to keep these open flames well away from anything flammable like curtains, clothes, etc. Even open flames outside the house, like firepits, can be dangerous if not correctly used or adequately supervised, so make sure to maintain the same safety standards for these open flames as well.

Know The Smell Of Open Gas

One more common cause of fires comes from open gas, which is becoming more common inside homes and buildings. Many furnaces and hot water tanks now use gas for heating because of its various benefits. However, this gas is also highly flammable; if it somehow escapes into the open air, it can be a recipe for disaster. Because of this, it’s essential to use any gas-heating device correctly and safely. It’s also important to keep your nose out for the smell of any available gas that may be leaking. Having the right kind of detectors can also help as well (see below).

know the smell of gas Harbord Insurance

Keep Smoke Alarms & Gas Alarms Active

In the scary case that an uncontrollable fire starts or if gas begins to leak from a gas-heating device, having smoke alarms and gas alarms can help ensure that these risks are detected quickly. Ensure your home or building has enough fire detectors and smoke and gas detection alarms. Ensuring these stay active throughout the year is important too, which can usually mean making sure the batteries in them are still good.

Have Fire Extinguishers Close By

Having fire extinguishers adequately placed around the house can also help stay safe if/when an uncontrollable fire starts. Having one in the kitchen is always a good idea since cooking appliances are a common cause of fires, but having more fire extinguishers around the home or building is also a good idea in case you can’t grab one in a specific location quickly.

fire extinguishers Harbord Insurance


If/when the scary moment of an uncontrollable fire presents itself in your life, it’s essential to have a safety plan! Below are some ways you can better plan to find safety in the case of an uncontrollable fire.

Know Your Escape Plan

Knowing how to escape a fire in your home, work, or any other building can be life-saving. Identify fire exits already present in a building/home or potential windows and other escape methods. Having this in your mind can save you crucial time in an escape, and extra time to escape will be significant in these critical moments.

Estimate Your Escape Time

Learning about how quickly fires can spread from room to room or floor will help give you an estimated time frame to escape. Although not always advised if there’s not enough time, knowing that you may have an extra minute or two in your escape can give you confidence in ensuring that loved ones or essential assets escape safely.

Assign A Meeting Place

It’s good to have a designated meeting place assigned in case of a fire. This will help let everyone in the home or building know precisely where they should meet in case quickly escaping a fire is necessary. Then the group can easily consider everyone who has run (or may still be inside).

meeting place Harbord Insurance


We hope you have a great fire prevention week, and stay safe! Feel free to contact us if you have questions about fire prevention, fire safety, and your insurance policies regarding fire damage. We’d be happy to help answer any questions you may have.

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