Here are the main causes of winter fires and how to prevent them

Here are the main causes of winter fires and how to prevent them
Here are the main causes of winter fires and how to prevent them

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If the current pace keeps up, Ontario could see a record number of house fire fatalities in 2022. The winter months usually see the highest number of house fires due to the use of heating appliances and generators. The Weather Network’s Victoria Fenn Alvarado spoke with Hamilton’s Fire Chief, Dave Cunliffe to learn about precautions to take this winter. Watch the video above to learn more, and read on for some quick tips.

Safety precautions at home

Regularly check all batteries in your smoke detectors. Cunliffe also suggests checking the manufacturers' date on your detectors, because they have a lifespan of approximately ten years.

The same rules apply to your carbon monoxide detectors. Ontario's Office of the Fire Marshal recommends installing carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas and to test them monthly.

Carbon monoxide can enter your home if you do not correctly install your generator. The location of your generator is key.

“Don't have them running outside an open window, or a place where the carbon monoxide that's generated by these appliances can get back into the house,” Cunliffe says.

It is also important to check the voltage limit on your generator and if any extension cords are attached. If the extension cord cannot hold the load, it can catch on fire.

Space heaters and candles are common causes of house fires during the winter months. Do not leave a candle or heater unattended, and be sure there are no combustibles like clothes, curtains, or bed sheets near the heat. Always keep space heaters and candles on a flat surface where they will not fall over. If possible, consider switching to flameless candles.

Cooking and careless smoking remain the top two causes of house fires year-round. Always be mindful of hot elements on the stove, and never leave a hot stove unattended. Cigarette butts can cause a fire indoors or outside. Do not butt out cigarettes in a flower pot, a pile of leaves, or on a deck.

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