Canada Safety Council offers fire prevention tips for winter

by Morinville Online Staff

Nov. 24 to 30 is National Home Fire Safety Week, and the Canada Safety Council (CSC) is reminding Canadians to be proactive in freezing out winter fires. With colder weather and the Christmas season coming, holiday lighting, fireplaces, electrical heating units or cooking for family gatherings increase exposure to fire hazards.

“We need to remember that a home fire can take hold at any moment,” said CSC President and CEO Gareth Jones in a media release. “It is vital to have a fire prevention plan in place before it is needed because an instant is all it takes for a plan to go from afterthought to the most important thing in the moment. Proactive planning will help keep you and your family safe and better equipped to deal with an emergency.”

Citing Statistics Canada figures, CSC says between 2011 and 2020, the four highest average incidents of accidental fire-related fatalities by month occurred in January (210), March (195), February (180) and December (165). Residential properties accounted for 92 per cent of those fires.

The Canada Safety Council offer the following tips:

  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits. Keep in mind that, in many houses, a single circuit can be used for a whole room. Identifying this problem may not be as simple as looking for a single overloaded outlet. Symptoms of an overloaded circuit can include flickering or dimming lights, blown fuses, a tripping circuit breaker and a burning smell.
  • Use only CSA approved lights and appliances. This certification ensures proper wiring and a product designed to withstand the electrical charge it receives.
  • Keep an eye on products designed to emit heat. These can include hair dryers and straighteners, for example. Even if properly certified, these products can overheat if combined with a faulty breaker and a circuit that is already highly taxed.
  • Don’t use electrical devices with frayed or damaged wires. The insulation on these wires exists to deter arcing and heat output, two major components in home fires. Replace these devices.

CSC has some resources online dealing with  kitchen safety and fire extinguisher tips.

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