The Charlottetown Fire Department is urging the public to keep fire safety in mind as it gets colder outside.
"We often see more home fires during the winter months due to heating equipment and appliances," said Charlottetown Fire Chief Randy MacDonald. "People need to pay close attention to potential fire hazards, such as fireplaces, furnaces, heat pumps, chimneys and vents, as well as space heaters."
There are some simple things people can do to stay fire safe during the colder months:
• Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered fuel contractor.
• 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 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.
• Install Carbon Monoxide alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.
In addition to these safety tips, the Charlottetown Fire Department stresses the importance of smoke alarms being installed on every storey of your home and outside of all sleeping areas and in every bedroom for the greatest protection. Carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside of all sleeping areas if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage.
For more tips and additional information, visit: www.charlottetownfire.ca and click on "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires"
City of Charlottetown