Tips for Homeowners

At Brunswick Fyr & Safety Accessories, we help homeowners throughout Nova Scotia and New Brunswick protect themselves against the threat of fire. We invite you to take a moment to browse the information on this page to learn more, or you can contact us directly with your questions.

Fire and Fire Extinguisher Classes


There are three types of common fires and two specialty classes. It is important to match the proper fire extinguisher to the size of the area you are protecting and the potential hazard. This is why fire extinguishers contain different agents and are listed for specific classes of fire. Fires are classified into five groups:

Class A

Class A fires involve common combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, trash and plastics. They are common in typical commercial and home settings, but can occur anywhere these types of materials are found. Examples include: trash, wood, paper and cloth.

Class B

Class B fires involve flammable liquids, gases, solvents, oil, gasoline, paint, lacquers, tars and other synthetic or oil-based products. Class B fires often spread rapidly and, unless properly secured, can re-flash after the flames are extinguished. Examples include: flammable liquids, gases and solvents.

Class C

Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment, such as wiring, controls, motors, data processing panels or appliances. They can be caused by a spark, power surge or short circuit and typically occur in locations that are difficult to reach and see. Examples include: electrical equipment.

Class K

Class K fires involve combustible cooking media such as oils and grease commonly found in commercial kitchens. The new cooking media formulations used for commercial food preparation require a special wet chemical extinguishing agent that is specially suited for extinguishing and suppressing these extremely hot fires that have the ability to re-flash. Examples include: combustible cooking media.

Class D

Class D fires involve combustible metals such as magnesium and sodium. Combustible metal fires are unique industrial hazards which require special dry powder agents. Examples include: combustible metals.

Barbecue Safety

Here are some helpful propane barbecue safety tips:

  • Storage
    • Propane is stored as a liquid, but used as a vapour. The cylinder must be kept upright at all times to prevent leakage
    • Store propane cylinders outdoors
    • Keep out of the reach of children
    • Do not smoke near a propane tank
  • Set up and maintenance
    • Carefully follow the assembly instructions included with your barbecue. If you're not sure about something, take it back to the dealer for help or call a qualified propane technician
    • Make sure the burner holes and tubes connected to the burners are rust and debris frees and that the burner throat, where the propane enters the burner, is free of dust or cobwebs
    • All hoses and joints should be soap tested. To accomplish this, make up a solution of dish soap and water. Leave the barbecue valve off and the cylinder valve on. Spread the soapy solution generously on all fittings and the hose. If bubbles appear and become larger or increase in number, then you have a leak. Never check for leaks with an open flame
  • Use
    • Use gas grills outdoors only. Even grilling in the garage with the door open does not allow for enough ventilation and could cause suffocation or an explosion if the gas builds up
    • Have your match or barbeque lighter handy when you are preparing to light the grill
    • Always have the lid open when getting ready to light your grill so that gas does not build up
    • Keep loose clothing away from a hot barbecue
    • Use long-handled tongs and brushes while grilling. It puts you at a safer distance away from the flames
    • Never move a lit barbeque
    • After each use, turn off the cylinder valve on the propane tank first, then the "ON/OFF" valve on the barbecue. This way, propane does not get trapped in the hose when the grill is not in use

Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen within a matter of minutes and is responsible for more deaths than any other single poison. This odourless, colourless poison can hurt you slowly in low levels, cause permanent neurological dysfunctions in moderate levels or take lives in higher levels. Protection against this deadly poison is as easy as installing a simple carbon monoxide detector in your home or office.


Carbon monoxide is produced whenever fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. The amount of CO produced while using fuel-burning appliances is usually not harmful. It becomes hazardous when appliances are used improperly or are not functioning adequately.


Precautionary Measures
Routinely at the beginning of every heating season home owners should have their fuel burning appliances checked by a qualified technician. Appliances deteriorate with time and can be a health risk to those who live in the home.


Besides having your appliances inspected, those using fuel-burning appliances should have their homes equipped with carbon monoxide detectors to provide added peace of mind. Appliances can break down any time of year so it is important to have a back-up system in place to keep you informed when CO levels increase. A CO detector should be placed on every floor in the home to provide the best protection.


Health Risks
Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with other illness symptoms and can often go undetected. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in long term health problems if not treated promptly. Symptoms such as nausea, headaches and light-headedness should be checked by a physician, especially when more than one person in the home is showing symptoms.

Emergency Escape Ladder

It is important to have a fire escape plan for the family. Go to www.getprepared.ca for more information on preparing your family for any type of emergency. This is a Government of Canada website where you will find practical information on how to take care of yourself and your family before, during and after an emergency. Learn how to prepare for emergencies caused by natural hazards and find specific instructions on how to protect yourself and your loved ones in case your region is affected. Read about natural hazard facts and discover where natural hazards can occur in Canada.

First Aid Kits

It is important to keep a First Aid kit handy for emergencies. Take a moment to check out this brochure of First Aid products.

Home Checklist

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher located in or near these potential fire hazard areas:

check
  • Kitchen
  • Wood stove
  • Furnace
  • Garage
  • Laundry room

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

All fires can be very dangerous and life-threatening. Your safety should always be your primary concern when attempting to fight a fire! Here are some tips on using a fire extinguisher:


  • Before deciding to fight a fire, be certain that:
    • The fire is small and not spreading. A fire can double in size within two or three minutes
    • You have the proper fire extinguisher for what is burning
    • The fire won't block your exit if you can't control it. A good way to ensure this is to keep the exit at your back
    • You know your fire extinguisher works. Inspect extinguishers once a month for dents, leaks or other signs of damage. Assure the pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge, the needle should be in the green zone - not too high and not too low
    • You know how to use your fire extinguisher. There isn't enough time to read instructions when a fire occurs
  • How to fight a fire safely:
    • Always stand with an exit at your back
    • Stand several feet away from the fire, moving closer once the fire starts to diminish, using the PASS method:
      • Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher
      • Aim at the base of the fire, not the flames. This is important - in order to put out the fire, you must extinguish the fuel
      • Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop
      • Sweep from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out. Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance, several feet away, and then move towards the fire once it starts to diminish. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher - different fire extinguishers recommend operating them from different distances. Remember: aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames
    • If possible, use a "buddy system" to have someone back you up or call for help if something goes wrong
    • Be sure to watch the area for a while to ensure it doesn't re-ignite
  • Never fight a fire if:
    • The fire is spreading rapidly. Only use a fire extinguisher when the fire is in its early stages. If the fire is already spreading quickly, evacuate and call the fire department
    • You don't know what is burning. Unless you know what is burning, you won't know what type of fire extinguisher to use. Even if you have an ABC extinguisher, there could be something that will explode or produce highly toxic smoke
    • You don't have the proper fire extinguisher. The wrong type of fire extinguisher can be dangerous or life-threatening
    • There is too much smoke or you are at risk of inhaling smoke. Seven out of ten fire-related deaths occur from breathing poisonous gases produced by the fire.


Any sort of fire will produce some amount of carbon monoxide, the most deadly gas produced by a fire. Materials such as wool, silk, nylon and some plastics can produce other highly toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, or hydrogen chloride. Beware - all of these can be fatal.


Smoke inhalation or exposure to fire itself can be life threatening so get educated about the basics in CPR and burn treatment.

icers

Icer's®

Icer's® are an anti-ski safety sole that feature hardened steel studs to prevent slipping in the ice. They use an adjustable front toe strap and an adjustable rear strap to make sure the attachment is secured properly to your footwear. Click here to learn more about this product.

Smoke Detector

It is important to have smoke detectors installed on each floor of your home. Remember to check them regularly for proper function and change their battery at least once a year. Changing your smoke detector batteries when you change your clock is a good way to remember.

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