Have a fire-safe student

September is upon us and school has started. Many young people are attending college and university—many for the very first time.
Thousands of students across Canada also are living away from home.
Safety is a concern for many parents/caregivers, and every student should know basic fire and life safety information, as well as practice safety.
It’s important for parents/caregivers to discuss basic fire and life safety rules with students before they go off to their new residence. If you haven’t discussed the following fire and life safety topics below, now would be a good time.
Here are some basic fire and life safety topics to discuss with students:
•smoke alarms
•CO (carbon monoxide) alarms
•fire escape plans
•security bars (can they be opened if you have to escape the residence)
•smoking materials
•space heaters
•electrical equipment
•social gatherings and overcrowding
As a parent/caregiver, what is your knowledge of the above topics? Not sure? Each of the above topics could be discussed in great detail of their importance.
For starters, ensure students have correctly installed and maintained working smoke alarms inside and outside of all sleeping areas, as well as on all levels of the dwelling they will be residing in.
It’s also vital to have a well-rehearsed escape plan, with two ways out of each room and no blocked exits. Bathrooms usually are the only exception as many only have one exit.
It doesn’t matter what province or territory you reside in, I strongly advocate you visit the website of the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal and read their document on Safe Student Accommodations.
It has some very valuable and important information that could someday safe a life!
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Safety—it starts with you!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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