In its latest newsletter, the RM of Morris has published a list of winter fire safety tips for local residents, compiled under four categories: Lights & Electrical, Candles, Heating, and In the Kitchen.
Fire Chief Bernard Schellenberg says people should keep all entries and exits to their home clear, ensure windows and doors are not frozen shut, and fire hydrants should be clear of snow in case of a fire.
He notes, "people should use CSA approved lights, proper electrical cords made for outside or inside, and outdoor plugs should be GFCI certified receptacles."
He adds that damaged cords should be thrown out, and that some lamps produce enough heat to start fires, with others using halogen lights that can start a fire if placed in close proximity to flammable materials. Portable space heaters should be kept away from flammable materials, and furnaces should be kept clear for easy access. Gas fire furnaces should be checked in order to ensure carbon monoxide does not build up in-doors.
For those who heat their homes by using their kitchen oven, Schellenberg "highly recommends against it," as it is a large fire risk and not efficient. In the event of a grease or fat fire, Schellenberg says heat should be turned off, and the pan should be covered with a lid until cold. He says using an exhaust fan or using fire to extinguish the flames both spread fire instead.
He added that homes with a chimney should be checked each year, as chimney fires are difficult to fight.
The full list of recommendations can be found here on page 3 of the RM of Morris December newsletter.