Planning for safety

winterhomePlanning for safety

By now, you probably remembered to turn your clocks back, but did you also remember to review your fire safety plan? If you don’t have one, now is a good time to prepare one.

“As we head into the heating, candle and fireplace season – a season that tends to see an increase in home fires – having a fire safety plan in place is the best way to reduce risks and prevent injury,” says Phil Dorner, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “Daylight savings goes hand in hand with fire safety – now that you’ve turned back your clock, be sure to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.”

It is also a good time to make sure all heating devices are in good working order and to think about home safety overall, advises Dorner.

To help with preparing a home safety checklist, Dorner shares these tips:

Check alarms:

  • Check batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Test carbon monoxide detectors regularly, or as recommended by the manufacturer

Service heating systems:

  • Have your heating system checked and cleaned regularly to ensure it’s operating at peak efficiency
  • Ensure that all external vents – such as fresh air intake vents, exhaust vents, and chimneys – are clear of snow, insulation, leaves, bird’s nests, lint, or debris

Lighting and security:

  • Install lights at all points of entry into your home — the porch, the rear, side, garage door, etc.
  • Install an energy-saver timer to turn lights on and off
  • If you have a home alarm system, make sure all family members know how to operate the system and that it is running properly

Take some time to review your home safety list with the whole family. Children should be familiar with your home’s fire safety plan and know how to dial 911 as early as possible.

“Keeping your home safe and secure should always be top-of-mind for homeowners,” says Dorner. “If you are buying a home this season, talk to your Realtor to find out what safety questions you need to ask before buying a new property.”

More information is available at

This article is provided by local REALTORS® and the Ontario Real Estate Association for the benefit of consumers in the real estate market.