False fire alarm in West Kelowna a wake up call for homeowners | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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False fire alarm in West Kelowna a wake up call for homeowners

West Kelowna firefighters were called to a false alarm on Old Okanagan Highway, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016.
Image Credit: Contributed/West Kelowna Fire Rescue
December 08, 2016 - 2:30 PM

KELOWNA - Whether you use furnaces or space heaters, a fire alarm in West Kelowna should be a warning to check your heating equipment sooner than later.

While a home's smoke detectors went off, the West Kelowna Fire Department says a call at 5:20 a.m. today, Dec. 8, revealed no flames in a house on the 3500 block of Old Okanagan Highway. The department believes the alarms were tripped by an accumulation of dust in the homes natural gas furnace system.

This has led the fire department to issue media release with a warning to homeowners based on an American study of house fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 16 per cent of home fires are caused by heating equipment, only behind cooking as likely causes, and 19 per cent of home fire deaths were in fires caused by heating equipment, second behind smoking materials.

Space heaters are the heating equipment most likely to cause a fire, igniting 40 per cent of heating equipment based fires. Other factors to home heating fires were items that can burn being placed too close to heating equipment or failure to clean things like chimneys.

The release also says it’s important to check how old fire alarms are, as the two alarms in the West Kelowna home were well passed their 10-year lifespan.

The issue is particularly notable with the current cold snap in the Okanagan.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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