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Take time for fire prevention

When Manitobans change their clocks to standard time on Sunday, Nov. 2, it’s also the ideal time to test smoke, carbon monoxide and other battery-powered alarms, change alarm batteries and practise residential fire escape plans, the provincial fire commissioner’s office says.

Manitoba has recorded 12 preventable fire deaths so far in 2008. The Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) and fire services across the province remind people that smoke alarms are still the most effective tool for early smoke and fire warning.

Parents and caregivers should place smoke alarms in or near sleeping areas, create and practise a home escape plan and look for home fire hazards.

Install at least one smoke alarm on every dwelling level including the basement. Make sure there is an alarm in or near every sleeping area. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on installation. To ensure they are in working condition, test smoke alarms once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

Create a fire-escape plan for everyone in the household including a floor plan showing two ways out of each room and through windows.

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