Be alert for fire hazards in your home

Be alert for fire hazards in your home

Fire Prevention Week theme: Look, Listen, Learn

Residents of the City of Wetaskiwin should take a few minutes to consider this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme, “Look, Listen, Learn,” notes H&S Coordinator/Fire Prevention officer James Gilbert.

Speaking by phone from the west fire station Oct. 3, Gilbert said “Look” suggests homeowners check for places where a fire could start and remove the threat. He said home fires usually start in the kitchen and can involve people not watching what they’re cooking.

Another kitchen problem involves cooks leaving flammable materials like towels or mitts too close to the stove while food is cooking.

Gilbert said if a cook has to leave the kitchen while food is cooking, use a timer to remind yourself that the stove is hot.

Also, Gilbert noted that people who are very tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol should avoid using the stove at all, to reduce the possibility of a fire spreading unnoticed.

One more culprit in the home environment is the space heater. The fire prevention officer stated portable heaters should have other materials no close than three feet from them. He noted newer space heaters sometimes have safety features like auto-shut off, but older ones might have no safety features at all.

He pointed out that homeowners should never leave open flames, even something like a candle, unattended. Also, candles should be extinguished and discarded before they run out of wax; if they burn all the way down, it could ignite other materials. Gilbert suggested homeowners look into faux LED candles as a safe alternative.

Advice for homeowners to “Listen” for trouble: make sure your smoke alarms are located in the hallway outside any room where someone sleeps. Also, a smoke alarm should be located on every level of the home.

Gilbert acknowledged some people have a smoke alarm near their kitchen and it’s always going off because of cooking. The fire prevention officer noted the smoke alarm could probably be re-located to a better place, near a bedroom. He also suggested looking into a new smoke detector that has a “hush” button or newer alarms that have a beep when batteries are low. Gilbert noted both smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are reasonably prices, and was in a local Wetaskiwin hardware store a few days ago and all of them were even on sale.

Gilbert noted the Wetaskiwin Fire Department conducts certain proactive practice nights where they do some door knocking in town and inspect smoke alarms; many times the smoke alarms have the battery remove.

Being alerted to smoke is extremely important in home fires Gilbert noted, as most fatalities in such a fire aren’t caused by flames, but by poisonous smoke.

The last part of the theme, “Learn,” encourages people to learn multiple ways out of their home in event of fire. Gilbert said people should know two ways out, usually a door and a window, and remember to make sure the windows open easily and are free of clutter.

He said some buildings may have bars on the windows; remember to test their hinges to make sure they open easily.

Gilbert suggested learning an escape plan, including a meeting place outside the home a safe distance away that everyone knows. It’s wise to practice the plan regularly just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Gilbert pointed out an important tip: pay attention to alarms. Don’t assume the alarm is broken or going off for no reason. If you hear an alarm, investigate it.

The fire prevention officer also pointed out it’s a good idea to have a fire extinguisher on every floor of the home plus the garage. Make sure they’re tested or recently purchased; he said during inspection, the Wetaskiwin department has come across fire extinguishers that haven’t been touched sine 1986.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

file photo
County of Wetaskiwin Land Use Bylaw amendments approved

Ammendments approved by Wetaskiwin County Council at Nov. 24, 2020 Council meeting.

Team Manitoba celebrate after defeating Team Ontario to win the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. Curling Canada wants Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park to be a curling hub for the season’s top events. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary facility set to become curling hub during pandemic

Curling Canada has provisional approval for Calgary’s hub-city concept from Alberta Health

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

A scene from last year’s Light the Night fundraiser at the Stettler Town and Country Museum. This year’s rendition is on a drive-through basis only, but it still promises to be a not-to-be-missed seasonal highlight. (Independent file photo)
Stettler Town and Country Museum hosts ‘Light the Night’

This year’s rendition is drive-through only, but will still prove to be a dazzling display

(Black Press File Photo)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Most Read