Safety tips from Stanstead’s fire chief
Sincewe are right in the middle of the Canada Safety Council’s Home Fire Safety Week, Stanstead’s interim fire chief, Jean Fluet, had some reminders for the readers of the Stanstead Journal but, first, he spoke about how firefighting in the area, in general, was going.
“Our last alarm was on November 20th but we haven’t had an actual fire since the one at the beginning of the summer, on Main Street in Beebe,” said the fire chief thankfully. And although now is the time, with people using their woodstoves and fireplaces regularly, when fire departments are sometimes called to put out chimney fires, the Stanstead fire department has not yet received one call. “Our residents have a much better awareness about wood stove safety and there is better maintenance of chimneys. About seven or eight years ago we averaged about fifteen chimney fires a year; now our average is one or two. Many people now call the chimney sweep to clean out their chimney once a year,” explained Mr. Fluet.
Mr. Fluet added that people who have oil burning furnaces should also get their chimneys checked by a chimney sweep. “They don’t catch fire but there can be blockages and the fumes can come back into the house.”
“A lot of people have been taking advantage of the nice weather we’ve been having to put up their Christmas decorations. They should be sure to use good quality extension cords and to check all of their cords for wear or weathering. Those broken cords can cause fires, inside the house and out,” added the fire chief.
As a concluding word of safety, Mr. Fluet warned drivers to be careful and to watch out for black ice on the highways, as has been reported in the region since the weekend.