The Saint John Fire Department would like to remind citizens of a few simple things that can save lives during the winter. With the current snow accumulation, there are some small measures you can take to keep your family and your home safe from fire.
Exits, Stairs, and Paths of Exit Travel
Please ensure that all exit doors, stairs, paths of exit travel, exterior passageways, and exterior exit stairs serving occupied buildings shall be maintained free of snow and ice accumulations. During shovelling and/or plowing operations it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that the snow is removed away from exit doors, stairs, or paths of exit travel, and not pushed up against these areas. This will make it easier to leave in case of emergency, while also providing responders a clear path to your home.
The winter season is the worst season for fires in Canada. That is why all Canadians must be mindful of the importance of fire prevention and safety. During the winter, we must heat our homes, most of our meals are prepared and eaten indoors, our clothing is dried indoors and people who smoke tend to do so indoors. Remember that:
- Heating appliances such as space heaters should not have anything combustible close by and need at least one metre (three feet) of space around them. Inspect the electrical cord attached. If it overheats, you have a fire hazard. Keep young children away from them.
- Electrical and heating systems can fail and become fire hazards. Ensure they are regularly checked by a professional, especially prior to the winter season when fireplaces, heaters, household appliances and other electrical equipment are in maximum use.
- Most chimney fires occur with wood-burning fireplaces. Ensure chimneys are cleaned and professionally inspected regularly. Burn only small quantities of wood at a time.
- Teach children that fire is not a toy; it is a tool we use to cook food and heat our homes.
- Educate your children about the dangers of fire and make sure they know that all fires, even small ones, can spread very quickly.
For more information, visit saintjohn.ca/fire or call 658-2910.