Whitby fire and emergency services is advising residents to keep fire safety a priority at all times.
The top five causes of preventable residential fires in Whitby are cooking (26 per cent), smoking (19 per cent), appliances and electronics (nine per cent), electrical (eight per cent) and heating (seven per cent).
“Prevention and preparation is imperative to ensuring the safety of all family members,” said Nicholas Webb, acting deputy chief for Whitby fire and emergency services.
“We encourage all town of Whitby residents to review home fire safety tips and to plan and practise home escape plans with all people in their household.”
To prevent cooking fires, residents are urged to never leave cooking unattended, keep combustibles such as dish cloths and cooking utensils away from stove tops, and keep a proper fitting lid near the stove when cooking. In the event of a fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove.
To prevent smoking fires -- the No. 1 cause of fire fatalities in Ontario -- smokers are advised to smoke outside, never smoke in bed, and use large, deep dish ashtrays that can’t be knocked over.
To prevent appliance and electronic fires, be sure all your appliances are CSA or ULC tested and are serviced professionally. Also, never leave energized appliances or electronics unattended on combustible materials such as bedding or upholstered furniture and check cords for damage such as fraying or nicks.
To prevent electrical fires, extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection and not linked together. Residents are also urged to avoid overloading a circuit with multiple plugs and running cords under rugs or carpets.
To prevent heating equipment fires, have chimneys and heating systems cleaned and/or inspected by a qualified service technician, install a carbon monoxide detector to alert you to the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas, keep space heaters at least one metre from anything that can burn, and allow ashes to cool before emptying them into a metal container.
Residents are also being reminded that the Ontario Fire Code requires all single family, semi-detached and town homes to have a working smoke alarm on every storey of the residence and outside all sleeping areas.
For fire safety questions or tips, contact Whitby fire and emergency services at 905-668-3312.
View: Whitby's Fire Statistics
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