Smoke Detectors

­smokeDetectorWikipedia Definition:  A smoke detector is a device that detects smoke. Commercial, industrial, and mass residential devices issue a signal to a fire alarm system, while household detectors, known as smoke alarms, generally issue a local audible and/or visual alarm from the detector itself.
Smoke detectors are typically housed in a disk-shaped plastic enclosure about 150 millimetres (6 in) in diameter and 25 millimetres (1 in) thick, but the shape can vary by manufacturer or product line. Most smoke detectors work either by optical detection (photoelectric) or by physical process (ionization), while others use both detection methods to increase sensitivity to smoke. Smoke detectors in large commercial, industrial, and residential buildings are usually powered by a central fire alarm system, which is powered by the building power with a battery backup. However, in many single family detached and smaller multiple family dwellings, a smoke alarm is often powered only by a single disposable battery.
Smoke detectors are amazing inventions that, because of mass production, cost very little. You can get a smoke detector for as little as $7. And while they cost very little, smoke d­etectors save thousands of lives each year. In fact, it is recommended that every home have at least one smoke detector per floor.
All smoke detectors consist of two basic parts: a sensor to sense the smoke and a very loud electronic horn to wake people up. Smoke detectors can run off of a 9-volt battery or 120-volt house current.

Websites for further information:

Wikipedia - On Smoke Detectors
It's Your Health
How to Install a Smoke Detector
You Changed Your Clocks, Now It's Time to Check Your Smoke Alarms

Make a House Evacuation Plan

A house fire requires an immediate get-out-now evacuation plan. There is no time to collect the family photo albums or your grandmothers stamp collection. You need to get everyone out NOW!  To greatly improve your chance of survival, there are a lot of things you can do before and during a house fire. Take some time now to prepare yourself and your family.


Check your property insurance policy to make sure that you have the appropriate coverage.
Here are some websites to look at:

Surviving a House Fire
Make a Home Escape Plan
How to Create an Emergency Home Evacuation Plan
How to Plan an Emergency Escape From a Home

Fire Escape Ladders

fireladderTwo story homes have many benefits; however, consideration needs to be given to protecting your family in a multi-storey home.  Safety equipment such as a fire escape ladder on the second floor can help your family evacuate safely.
Websites for further information:

Fire Escape Ladders Save Lives
The History of the Fire Escape Ladder


Fire Fighting Foam (Fire Trol ®, FireFoam ® 103)
WHMIS Classification D2b

After a fire, when the adrenaline has subsided somewhat, people have questions regarding the foaming material that fire fighters use to put out fires effectively. They may be concerned about toxilogical properties, absorption into the ground, water and air, and how long the substance will remain. This foam is not a HAZMAT reporting event. Here are some facts regarding this substance that should allay some of these concerns:

  • Fire Foam is used in special firefighting procedures in enclosed areas.
  • It looks foamy, viscous and is a light amber color.
  • Do not add water to Fire Foam spills in order to avoid excessive foaming - the application of sand or other absorbent material will suffice until water can be used in the final clean up, once concentrate has been removed.
  • Fire Foam 103 is biodegradable and has a minimal environmental impact. National test results indicate that it is 50% biodegraded in 2.25 days and 90% biodegraded in 3 days.


  • Skin Contact: wash off with water, and remove contaminated clothing to launder. Affected skin may become chapped, just apply moisturizing lotion.
  • Eye Contact: Flush eye(s) with water for 15 minutes, and consult a physician.
  • Inhalation: move to an area with fresh air. If breathing is difficult, consult a physician.
  • Ingestion: dilute with a small amount of water (200-300 ml.) DO NOT induce vomiting in order to avoid aspiration. Consult a physician.

In the event of a fire, you won't likely be near the scene where this firefighting foam is used. The above warning statements apply mostly to professionals involved.


Download an editable version of the
Household Emergency Plan