Last week a home in East Windsor was seriously damaged after an appliance left on during a power outage caught fire when power was restored.
Windsor Fire and Rescue Services have released some tips on how to stay safe during a power outage. The fire department urges residents that during extended power outages, extra care must be taken when using alternative lighting, cooking and heating equipment. Windsor Fire and Rescue Services is reminding the public that electrically-connected smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms will not work when the power is out.
“Homeowners should ensure they have battery-operated smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to provide early warning of fire and carbon monoxide,” said Fire Chief Bruce Montone. “During a power outage, families should make sure electric stove elements and small appliances are OFF or unplugged to prevent fires from starting when the electricity is restored.”
Additional fire safety tips during a power outage include the following:
- Use flashlights or battery-operated lanterns instead of candles or hurricane lamps. If using candles, place them in a secure holder and cover them with a glass chimney.
- Everyone should know how to get out immediately if there is a fire.
- Cordless phones will not work when the power is out, so it is recommended to have at least one phone that does not require electricity to operate.
- Propane and charcoal barbecues are for outdoor use only. Do not bring them inside.
- Only use portable space heaters that have been designed for indoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Provide adequate ventilation by opening a window slightly while the heater is in use. Before refueling, turn off the heater, wait for it to cool and take the heater outside to refuel.
- Purchase generators with recognized approval labels. Make sure the unit has proper connection receptacles and circuit breakers.
- Portable generators should only be used outdoors and carefully located to ensure that exhaust fumes do not enter the home. Allow the generator to cool before refueling. Refuel the generator outside, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Store fuel for the generator in approved containers, outside the home.
Additionally, Windsor Fire and Rescue Services reminds everyone that the Ontario Fire Code requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. This includes cottages, cabins and recreational vehicles.
Failure to comply with this law can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000. Firefighters enforce this law almost every day.