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WFPS reminds residents to stay fire safe this fall

Following these tips can reduce the risk

September 25, 2020

leaf compost bags leaning against garage
Never store yard waste near a structure.

As the weather gets cooler, many homeowners start getting their homes ready for winter. Each year, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responds to house fires that cause injuries and significant damage to homes and property. These fires are most always preventable.

“When we prepare our homes for winter, what seems like a mundane task can lead to an accidental house fire if we’re not careful, and that can be devastating,” said Mark Reshaur, WFPS Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention & Public Education.

Bulky waste

Fires that start in yard waste or bulky waste can rapidly spread, which can lead to a house fire, threatening your home and your family’s safety.

To arrange for bulky waste to be picked up, contact 311. You should only put garbage and recycling out on your collection day, to help reduce the risk of opportunistic arson added Reshaur.

Furnace maintenance

As outdoor temperatures cool, it’s a good time to have your furnace serviced by a qualified technician before turning it on for the season, said Reshaur. On top of performing routine maintenance on your furnace, a qualified technician can tell you if your furnace poses a carbon monoxide (CO) risk.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colourless, tasteless gas that can be deadly. It’s important that your home is equipped with CO alarms to alert you if there’s an issue.

Heaters

If you are using space heaters and electric heaters to warm an area, they should be used with caution and according to the product’s specifications. Keep flammable items like clothing, curtains, and paper away from heaters.

A space heater should never be left on while you’re sleeping or in another room.

Vehicles

When you prepare your vehicle for winter, it’s important think about how to prevent vehicle fires or carbon monoxide exposures.

“Check your extension cords and your vehicle’s block heater for signs of damage and replace any worn out equipment,” said Reshaur.

You should also never start your vehicle or use a barbecue inside a garage or other enclosed space, even if the door is open. This can lead to a build-up of carbon monoxide.

If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds or you suspect carbon monoxide in your home, get out, stay out, and call 911.

Remember to have a home escape plan and practice is often with all members of your household.


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