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Winter Fire Safety Tips from the Woodstock Fire Department

Fire Chief Jeff Slager says they typically respond to more fires in the winter months.  

WOODSTOCK - The Woodstock Fire Department is offering some winter fire safety tips as the mercury starts to drop. 

Fire Chief Jeff Slager says they typically respond to more fires in the winter. 

"We tend to see an increase in fire incidents at home during the winter months due to the increased use of heating equipment and appliances. We are urge everyone to be aware of potential fire hazards associated with fireplaces, furnaces, chimneys, vents, and space heaters." 

There are some simple things people can do to stay fire safe during the colder months:

- Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered fuel contractor. Go to COSafety.ca to find a contractor near you.

- Keep chimneys and intake/exhaust vents for furnaces and heating appliances free of debris, ice and snow accumulations to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) build-up from inefficient combustion.

- Burn dry, well-seasoned wood in fireplaces and woodstoves to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up in chimneys.

- Allow ashes from your fireplace or woodstove to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside.

- 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 building.

- Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.

- Install CO alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.

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