The colder weather does not mean houses are safe from fires.
According to Fire Prevention Canada, the winter season is the worst season for fires. This is largely due to the fact that people rely on heating a lot more during the winter months.
Strathcona County deputy fire chief, Vern Elliot, as well as Fire Prevention Canada, gave some advice on heating safety during the winter months:
  • Check your furnace filters. Every furnace is different, but three months is a good reference around how often filters should be replaced.
  • Chimneys should be cleaned and professionally inspected regularly. Most chimney fires occur with wood-burning fireplaces, so burn only small quantities of wood at a time.
  • For fireplaces, ensure the fire is fully extinguished when leaving a room.
  • Space heaters should not have anything combustible close by. There should be at least one metre of space around them.
  • Inspect the electrical cord attached. If it overheats, you have a fire hazard.
  • It is important to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. There must be an adequate supply of air for complete burning or combustion, or an excessive amount of carbon monoxide will accumulate indoors.

"Just take that extra 30 seconds to a minute to take a look at what you're doing and make sure it is as safe as possible," added Elliot.

In 2017, there were 4,967 fires in Alberta resulting in 29 deaths and 164 injuries. Twenty-seven per cent of residential fires were caused by smoker’s materials, ignorance of a hazard, cooking oil or an electrical short circuit.
More tips can be found here.

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