From clean chimneys and fresh furnace filters to space heater placement, County Fire Services serves up 11 great ways to stay fire safe this winter.
The cold Alberta winters mean many of us use a number of heat sources to keep our homes comfortable and warm. These include furnaces, portable heaters and wood-burning stoves. While these certainly keep us warm, they also create some fire risks if they aren't used properly.
Here are some tips from the Office of the Fire Commissioner that will keep you warm and safe:
- Replace and clean your furnace filter regularly (three to four times a year).
- Have your heating system inspected and serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Ensure that combustible materials such as newspaper, cardboard, paint thinner and paint rags are stored away from the furnace.
- Have a service person inspect your chimney, firebox and screen once a year. Have them cleaned when necessary.
- Use a screen in front of the fireplace to prevent embers and sparks from escaping and igniting carpets or other combustible materials.
- When purchasing a space heater, be sure to choose one that automatically shuts off if the heater falls over.
- Space heaters need space. Keep heaters at least one metre (three feet) away from your bed, curtains and other combustible materials.
- Avoid using an electrical heating device on the same circuit with another high wattage appliance, such as a microwave or toaster oven.
- Heaters should be placed on a flat and level surface so that they do not tip over.
- Check electrical heating equipment regularly and replace loose, frayed or damaged cords.
- Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors monthly.
For more information on fire safety in Alberta or to join your local Fire Station, contact Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services at 1-866-880-5722 go to our website www.countyfire.ca or the Office of the Fire Commissioner at 1-866-421-6929, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ofc.alberta.ca and select Public Education tab.