Cooler temperatures mean greater fire risk

As temperatures start to drop, the Campbell River Fire Department is providing residents with some fall heating tips

As temperatures start to drop, the Campbell River Fire Department is providing residents with some fall heating tips.

  • Home heating systems maintenance

With cooler days ahead, home heating systems will be used more often. Remember, furnaces, electric baseboard heaters and hot water heating systems require regular service and maintenance to keep them running safely and efficiently.

  • Keep chimneys clean

Woodstoves and fireplaces need special attention. The BC Fire Code requires that all chimneys and flues be inspected at least annually and must be cleaned when the buildup of soot and creosote exceeds three millimetres. It is recommended that this inspection be performed by a Wood Energy Technology Transfer (WETT) certified inspector. The use of a professional service company will help to ensure that the entire system is safe for the upcoming heating season. Chimney fires occur when creosote builds up inside the chimney and ignites. Chimney fires burn extremely hot, often damaging the chimney.

  • What to do in the event of a chimney fire

Immediately close dampers to remove the fire’s source of air, and get everyone in the home outside, and call 911. Once the fire has been extinguished, the system must be inspected by a qualified inspector before it is used again.

  • Burning best practices

Remember to burn only clean, well-seasoned firewood. Burning wet wood or garbage will coat the flue and chimney much faster and sends more smoke and pollution into the air we all share.

  • Smoke alarms

Above all else, and no matter what kind of heating system you use, make sure you have a working smoke alarm. Smoke alarms are required by the BC Fire Code in all dwellings and wherever people are sleeping. Also, be sure to test your smoke alarms monthly. If they are battery powered, replace the battery at least annually. Smoke alarms have a life span of 10 years. Replace and recycle older smoke alarms.

  • Carbon monoxide detectors

With fuel-burning appliances such as wood, natural gas/propane, or oil, it’s equally important to have carbon monoxide detectors in the home. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is produced when fuel is burned. A detector warns occupants when that carbon monoxide is present.

For more information on smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, visit www.nfpa.org or contact the local fire department at 250-286-6266. Information on recycling the old units can be found at www.alarmrecycle.ca

  • Fireworks

Thinking about fireworks for Halloween? A permit is required to set off fireworks for any event. Apply with the fire department at least two weeks before the event date.

  • Outdoor Burning

Recreational fires are permitted within the city, provided there is no fire ban in effect and the size of the fire is kept to 24 inches in diameter. To determine whether burning yard waste is permitted in your area, consult the City of Campbell River Bylaw 3293, 2007 – online at www.campbellriver.ca

Stay tuned for upcoming information on this year’s Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 5 through 11.