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Fire prevention tips and other information

Posted: February 26, 2019

Fire prevention tips and other information

Now that we are into the dead of winter, the members of the East St. Paul Fire Department would like to provide some tips to our residents to help prevent fires.  We are also providing some other general information to make you and your family safer.
  • If you have an attached garage, do not plug your vehicle in to use the engine block heater.  The temperature in most attached garages is not cold enough to require the use of an engine block heater.  Faulty engine block heaters and faulty extension cords are a leading cause of garage fires in the winter months.  If a vehicle starts on fire within the attached garage, it may be some time before the occupants become aware of a fire.

  • Most vehicle manufacturers don't recommend using block heaters until the temperature reaches -18C.  A reminder that wind chill does not affect a vehicle.  Refer to your owner's manual for further details.

  • It is recommended that you install a heat detector in your attached garage.  Just a note that in Manitoba, all new residential construction occurring after Oct. 1st, 2018 must have a heat detector in an attached garage wired into the house smoke alarm system.  If your residence was constructed prior to this date and you are considering renovations to the attached garage area, consider the installation of a heat detector.

  • With the increased use of furnaces in the winter, make sure you have working carbon monoxide detector on each level of your residence.  Carbon monoxide (CO) is odourless and colourless.  It can cause significant health issues and even death if undetected.  Test your detectors on a weekly basis.  Purchase CO detectors that can be plugged into a wall outlet with battery backup.  Detectors should be replaced after 10 years use.  Refer to the manufacturers guidelines for further information.

  • Many residences have high efficiency furnaces.  It is important to keep the outside furnace flue vent clear of drifting snow.  If the vent becomes obstructed with snow, it will allow the buildup of carbon monoxide within the residence.  This often triggers the CO alarm.

  • Fireplaces are mostly designed for decorative purposes.  Do not burn paper or products other than dry seasoned wood.  Prior to using your fireplace, it should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified person on an annual basis.  Burn only a few logs at a time and make sure your fire is contained within the fireplace.  Use a screen to prevent embers from popping out onto the floor.

  • If you are using candles, make sure they are fully extinguished prior to leaving your residence or going to bed.

  • Icy roads and packed snow lead to many vehicle collisions.  If you are planning on driving during inclement weather, consider leaving earlier to give yourself more time.  Remember that the posted speed limit is designed for ideal conditions that exist on dry, summer days.  Reduce your speed and drive to the conditions of the roadway.  ABS brakes do not reduce your stopping distance.  They are designed to prevent your tires from locking up and allowing you to steer around obstructions.

  • Please do not drink and drive.  Some medications and other drugs such as marijuana also impair your judgment when it comes to operating a vehicle.

If you have any questions regarding fire prevention or other fire related concerns, please contact the administration office who will forward them onto the fire department for response.


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