Other than the fire burning inside you, and the one roasting your marshmallows, fire can cause a lot of damage. There are currently some serious wildfires in Alberta, BC and Ontario. Firefighters are working tirelessly trying to put these out and contain the wreckage. So, first of all, thank you to all those putting their life on the line for our safety. Your efforts are appreciated greatly! Next thing, what can we (a typical pencil pushing, hammer throwing, citizen) do to prevent these things from happening?
Well, fire prevention has been pretty fresh on many people’s minds for quite some time now. How our houses are built, the urban infrastructure, the fire departments; they are all designed on how to put out and contain fires as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even the cooking products we buy, and the stoves we cook on – all have been changed over the course of time with fire prevention in mind. That is an ‘A+’ in the “prevent fires” column in society, as a whole.
So, “what can I do about this?”
- Be responsible – throwing your cigarette out your window, leaving a campfire unattended, or starting campfires in “no fire” zones. People do outrageous things without thinking and it can end up causing a lot of damage. Please use common sense and be responsible. If you see someone do something like this, speak up! We need people to understand that their actions can hurt others.
- Maintain equipment & machinery – Keeping your equipment, machinery and electrical components clean and in good working order will go a long way in preventing workplace fires or fires at home. Make sure qualified people are the ones working on the equipment.
- Good housekeeping – Clutter can be a problem in causing fire, spreading it or blocking exits if a fire occurs. Make sure you keep it to an absolute minimum.
- Test fire alarms – Despite all the technology and fire safety equipment out there, malfunctioning equipment is still a problem in many homes and workplaces, which allows fire damage to start and spread. Please test your systems and make sure your equipment is serviced and ready.
- Fire Insurance – This is the elephant in the room, but purchasing fire insurance will give you ‘Peace of mind’ if something terrible were to happen. Just because you follow all these tips to a ‘T’, doesn’t mean that something can’t happen. It may start somewhere else and spread. Make sure you do everything in your power to protect you, your family & your business.
The costs to repair the damages from these fires, unfortunately, is still going up. It begs the question as to how this is happening, especially if the number of claims is going down? The answer, well, it’s two things really. First, the costs to rebuild & repair have never been higher. Materials and good fair labour is getting more expensive all the time. The fires that do occur, are so large that the amount of wreckage is astounding. The damage that the Slave Lake and Fort McMurray fires amounted to is approximately $10 Billion. Yes! With a ‘B.’ That is not a small number. Live video footage of Fort McMurray fire below. 👇🏻
Fire is amazing, brilliant and mesmerizing, but it can be extremely destructive if not handled with care. Please make sure you take all precautions to prevent any uncontrolled fire and if one occurs, be prepared and have the equipment and the knowledge to stop it from spreading. This may be grabbing a nearby fire extinguisher, or grabbing a co-worker off the floor and running to the nearest fire exit. Be prepared, be safe and be smart.