February Prevention Tips

Febraury Header

Keep fire safety in mind as temperatures drop!

The Bancroft Fire Department is urging everyone to keep fire safety in mind as the temperatures turn colder.

“We often see more home fires during the winter months due to heating equipment and appliances,” said Bancroft Fire Chief Pat Hoover.  “People need to pay close attention to potential fire hazards such as fireplaces, furnaces, chimneys and vents, and space heaters.”

Here are some simple things you can do to stay fire safe during the colder months:

Generators and Other Gas Powered Equipment

  • Never run portable generators inside. Always run outdoors, away from windows and a safe distance away from any structures.
  • Always use heavier gauge extension cords rated for higher amps than what will be drawn by the appliances you are running.
  • Just like generators, never run any gas powered equipment such as snow blowers or chainsaws indoors.
  • Never refuel any gas powered equipment inside. Always move the equipment outside into fresh air and away from any structures. If a spill occurs, wait a few minutes to allow the gas spill to evaporate before starting the engine.
  • If you have a garage, ensure it has a CO detector installed to notify you of any Carbon Monoxide built up.
  • Always store gasoline in approved, well sealed containers. Do Not store near any ignition sources such as pilot lights, electric heaters or furnaces. Always store gas containers in a garage or shed, never in your house.

Extension Cords

  • Inspect your extension cords for any cracks, frays, splits, burn marks or any damage. If you find any damage discard the extension cord immediately.
  • When purchasing a new extension cord, ensure it is ETL or UL Listed and of an appropriate gauge.
  • Keep extension cords away from water, and ensure you plug an extension cord into a GFCI outlet or one protected by a GFCI for use in damp areas or with water oriented devices such as pumps
  • If an extension cord becomes hot to the touch, stop using and unplug it immediately.
  • Use only outdoor rated extension cords outside, never use an indoor only one outside.
  • Never tamper with an extension cord, it’s socket or it’s plug end. Do not try to force a 3 pronged extension cord plug into a 2 pronged outlet, or remove the grounding plug from an extension cord.
  • 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.

General Tips for the Month

  • Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered fuel contractor. Go to COSafety.ca to find a contractor near you.
  • Keep chimneys and intake/exhaust vents for furnaces and heating appliances free of debris, ice and snow accumulations to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) build-up from inefficient combustion.
  • Burn dry, well-seasoned wood in fireplaces and woodstoves to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up in chimneys.
  • Allow ashes from your fireplace or woodstove to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside.
  • Keep space heaters at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn, including curtains, upholstery and clothing.
  • Ensure that vehicles are not left running inside any garage or building.
  • Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
  • Install CO alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.

 Bancroft Fire reminds everyone that the Ontario Fire Code requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms are required outside all sleeping areas if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. For more information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, or fire safety, check out the Prevention section of our website through the drop-down menu’s above, or give us a call!

For more information contact:

Bancroft Fire Department