As thermometer drops, fire risk rises

A temperatures outside dip, the necessity for added heat sources indoors rises. And, invariably, so do the calls to the fire stations.

“There is definitely a spike,” said Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner. “We definitely see a spike in chimney fires and other types of heating fires.”

He said there are a few preventative measures people can take, to help lower the risk of fires.

“Obviously, using the chimney appropriately is important,” said Schreiner. “Burn properly; burning the right products. Not throwing paper, or other garbage in their fireplaces. That can cause chimney fires.”

Another culprit is space heaters.

“We see a lot of those at this time of year,” he said. “People should make sure they are plugged directly into an outlet, not through an extension cord or a power bar. That’s usually where we see the problems. People have those small space heaters running 24 hours a day at this time of year, and they are being used with extension cords and stuff, which they are not designed for.”

Schreiner also noted that there are precautions to adhere to in the event of power outages.

“When there’s a power failure, which we see quite often at this time of year, the use of candles increases, so just be careful when burning candles in your house, because they are an open source for fire. And if you are heating with fuels inside your home when the power is out, make sure you are ventilating the home, so you don’t get fuel poisoning.”

Schreiner also stressed the importance of having working smoke detectors in the home.


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