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Windsor Fire: Keep Fire Safety In Mind As Temperatures Drop

Monday January 11th, 2016, 10:27am


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As we get ready to blasted by chilling Arctic temperatures this week, Windsor Fire & Rescue Services is sending out a reminder to keep fire safety in mind when taking steps to deal with colder winter weather.

Fire officials say that the winter months traditionally see more fires in Ontario homes related to heating equipment and appliances. They say that people need to pay close attention to potential fire hazards arising from the use of fuel-burning appliances, space heaters and even block heaters in their vehicles.

“Block heaters should be treated just as any other piece of electrical equipment around the home,” explains Fire Chief Bruce Montone. “Cords and connections should be in good repair and caution should be used to ensure circuits are not overloaded.”

Important fire safety tips for cold weather include the following:

  • Burn dry, well-seasoned wood in fireplaces and woodstoves to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up in chimneys.
  • Allow ashes from your woodstove or fireplace to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid.  Keep the container outside.
  • Keep intake and exhaust vents for furnaces and heating appliances free of ice and snow accumulations to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide build-up from inefficient combustion. Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.
  • Keep space heaters at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn, including curtains, upholstery, and clothing.Replace worn or damaged electrical wires and connections on vehicles and extension cords and use the proper gauge extension cord for vehicle block heaters.
  • Consider using approved timers for vehicle block heaters rather than leaving heaters on all night.
  • Ensure that vehicles are not left running inside any garage or building.
  • Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey of your home.

Windsor Fire & Rescue Services also reminds everyone that the Ontario Fire Code requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Failure to comply with this law can result in a ticket for $235 or a fine of up to $50,000. If you require more information about smoke alarms or fire safety, please contact Windsor Fire & Rescue Services.

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