Keep fire safety in mind as temperatures drop

    Fires related to heating equipment can occur

    TORONTO, Jan. 13 /CNW/ -


    As many parts of Ontario prepare to be blasted by chilling Arctic
temperatures this week, the Fire Marshal of Ontario is urging the public to
keep fire safety in mind when taking steps to deal with colder winter weather.
    Winter months traditionally see more fires in Ontario homes related to
heating equipment and appliances. People need to pay close attention to
potential fire hazards related to 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 Pat Burke, Fire Marshal of Ontario.
"Cords and connections should be in good repair and caution should be used to
ensure circuits are not overloaded."


    -  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

    -  Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey of your home.

For further information:

For further information: Ryan Betts, Office of the Fire Marshal, (705)
897-1191; Carol Gravelle, Office of the Fire Marshal, (416) 325-3138

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