Safety tips from Stanstead’s fire chief

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier Stanstead

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.

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