Easy ways to keep safe

The Glengarry News - - SALUTE TO OUR LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS - Check all smoke and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors to make sure they work, and change the bat­ter­ies.

The On­tario As­so­ci­a­tion of Fire Chiefs of­fers these autumn fire safety tips.

As fall ar­rives, it’s a good idea to re­fresh your mem­ory on fall fire safety tips. Some safety tips are the same re­gard­less of the time of year, but many safety con­cerns are sea­sonal, par­tic­u­larly those that in­volve keep­ing your home warm.

Out­side the home

Never park your car or truck over a pile of leaves. The heat from the ve­hi­cle's cat­alytic con­verter or ex­haust sys­tem can ig­nite the leaves be­low. The re­sult­ing fire could de­stroy your ve­hi­cle.

Flammable liq­uids should not be stored in­side the home or in an at­tached garage or shed. This in­cludes any un­used fuel still in the fuel tank. Store this equip­ment away from your home or drain ex­cess fuel out of the tank be­fore stor­ing. This sim­ple safety pre­cau­tion will help pre­vent ac­ci­den­tal fires be­ing sparked by es­cap­ing fuel va­pors.

Re­move fuel from lawn mow­ers be­fore stor­ing them for win­ter.

Con­tact your util­ity com­pany if trees or branches are not clear of power lines.

Prune back trees, and rake up leaves and de­bris. If you live in an open area with a lot of nat­u­ral veg­e­ta­tion, con­sider cre­at­ing a de­fen­si­ble fire zone around your home. Prune the bot­tom branches from trees and re­move shrubs and trees within 20 feet of your home

Don’t store card­board boxes, pa­per or other flammable ma­te­ri­als in the back­yard. These ma­te­ri­als pro­vide ready fuel for a fire and all it takes is one spark.

Heat­ing your home

It is the law for all On­tario homes to have a work­ing smoke alarm on ev­ery storey and out­side all sleep­ing ar­eas. This cov­ers sin­gle fam­ily, semi-de­tached and town homes, whether owner-oc­cu­pied or rented.

Have a use­able fire ex­tin­guisher avail­able.

Cen­tral heat­ing

Get your cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem cleaned, in­spected and ser­viced by a cer­ti­fied HVAC (heat­ing, vent­ing and air con­di­tion­ing) con­trac­tor ev­ery year be­fore us­ing it.

If you have a gas heater, make sure that you have a suf­fi­cient quan­tity of fully func­tion­ing car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors in­stalled in your home.

Keep all flammable ma­te­ri­als away from your fur­nace. These in­clude cloth­ing, paint prod­ucts, toxic ma­te­ri­als, card­board and more.

Fire­places and wood­stoves

Have heat­ing ap­pli­ances ser­viced and chim­ney flues ex­am­ined for de­fects.

Have fire­places and fire­place dampers checked.

Fire­places should be equipped with an ap­pro­pri­ate screen or glass en­clo­sure to pre­vent sparks from fly­ing out.

Wood burn­ing stoves should be ex­am­ined and the flue and chim­ney checked for cre­osote buildup. Cre­osote is a de­posit from smoke that can build up in a chim­ney and can start a fire.

Use only sea­soned wood, and avoid soft wood like pine, etc.

Never use a flammable liq­uid to start a fire­place.

Never over­load the hearth with wood or ar­ti­fi­cial logs, the re­sult­ing fire may be too large for the unit.

Put all ashes out­doors and away from the house in a metal con­tainer.

Space heaters

Make sure that any space heaters are sur­rounded by at least three feet of empty space.

Never place cloth­ing or any other ob­jects on a space heater to dry.

Do not place space heaters near fur­ni­ture or drap­ery.

Turn space heaters off when you leave the house or go to bed.

Avoid stor­ing any com­bustible items near heaters.

In the home

Cook­ing fires are the num­ber one cause of home fires and home in­juries. The lead­ing cause of fires in the kitchen is unat­tended cook­ing. Stay in the kitchen while you are fry­ing, grilling, or broil­ing food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short pe­riod of time, turn off the stove. If you are sim­mer­ing, bak­ing, roast­ing, or boil­ing food, check it reg­u­larly, re­main in the home while food is cook­ing, and use a timer to re­mind you that you are cook­ing. Keep any­thing that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden uten­sils, food pack­ag­ing, tow­els or cur­tains — away from your stove­top.

Do not over­load elec­tri­cal out­lets or use ex­ten­sion cords in the place of ad­di­tional out­lets.

Check elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances reg­u­larly for wear­ing cords and plugs. Do not leave elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances plugged in if they do not need to be.

Lack of main­te­nance is the num­ber one cause of dryer fires. That is why it is crit­i­cal to clean the lint fil­ter be­fore and af­ter each use, and wipe away any lint that has ac­cu­mu­lated around the drum. Per­form pe­ri­odic checks to en­sure that the air ex­haust vent pipe is un­ob­structed (lint ac­cu­mu­la­tion)

and the out­door vent flap opens read­ily. Do not run the dryer with­out a lint fil­ter. You are en­cour­aged to not leave the dryer run­ning if you go out, in case it mal­func­tions.

Can­dles are great, when han­dled prop­erly

Ex­tin­guish can­dles when leav­ing the room or go­ing to sleep. Keep lit can­dles away from items that can catch fire.

Place can­dles in sturdy, burn-re­sis­tant con­tain­ers that won’t tip over and are big enough to col­lect drip­ping wax.

Don’t place lit can­dles near win­dows, where blinds or cur­tains may close or blow over them.

Don’t use can­dles in high traf­fic ar­eas where chil­dren or pets could knock them over.

Never let can­dles burn out com­pletely. Ex­tin­guish them when they get to within two inches of the holder or dec­o­ra­tive ma­te­rial.

Never leave chil­dren or pets alone in a room with lit can­dles.

Do not al­low older chil­dren to light can­dles in their bed­rooms. A for­got­ten can­dle or an ac­ci­dent is all it takes to start a fire.

Dur­ing power out­ages, ex­er­cise cau­tion when us­ing can­dles as a light source.

Many de­struc­tive fires start when po­ten­tial fire haz­ards go un­no­ticed in the dark.

Never use a can­dle for light when fu­elling equip­ment such as a camp fuel heater or lan­tern. Keep can­dle wicks short at all times. Trim the wick to one-quar­ter inch (6.4 mm). Be wary of buy­ing nov­elty can­dles. Avoid can­dles sur­rounded by flammable paint, pa­per, dried flow­ers, or break­able/meltable con­tain­ers.

Ex­tin­guish ta­per and pil­lar can­dles when they burn to within two inches of the holder, and con­tainer can­dles be­fore the last half-inch of wax be­gins to melt.

When buy­ing or us­ing nov­elty can­dles, try to de­ter­mine if they pose a po­ten­tial fire hazard (if they con­tain a com­bustible com­po­nent for in­stance).

If they do, or if you sus­pect that they might, in­form your lo­cal fire de­part­ment.

Use ex­treme cau­tion when car­ry­ing a lit can­dle, hold­ing it well away from your clothes and any com­bustibles that may be along your path.

FILE PHOTO

DE­STRUC­TIVE FORCE: While build­ings are safer and fire-fight­ing tech­niques are more ef­fec­tive than they were years ago, fire re­mains a for­mi­da­ble force. De­tec­tors save lives. Get into the habit of chang­ing your de­tec­tor bat­ter­ies when you turn your clocks back in autumn.

TO THE RES­CUE: Fire­fight­ers are ex­pected to re­spond to all types of emer­gen­cies, both on land, and wa­ter. In mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties such as South Glen­garry, where there are large bod­ies of wa­ter, mem­bers are trained in ice res­cue.

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