First West Kelowna chimney fire of the season sparks warning from fire department | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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First West Kelowna chimney fire of the season sparks warning from fire department

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December 05, 2016 - 2:30 PM

WEST KELOWNA - The fire department in West Kelowna responded to their first chimney fire of the season and are cautioning homeowners to stay safe while they stay warm this winter.

Firefighters were called to a chimney fire today, Dec. 5, according to a media release. Fifteen firefighters, two engines, one water tender and one command unit responded to the fire at a home on Cordova Way.

Fires in the home are common over the winter because of the extra heating equipment and appliances people use, the release states. Homeowners should pay attention to potential hazards like fireplaces, furnaces, chimneys and vents and space heaters.

Here is a list of home safety tips from West Kelowna Fire Rescue:

  • Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered fuel contractor
  • Keep chimneys and intake/exhaust vents for furnaces and heating appliances free of debris, ice and snow accumulations to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) build-up from inefficient combustion.
  • Burn dry, well-seasoned wood in fireplaces and wood stoves to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up in chimneys.
  • Clean wood burning chimneys prior to first use and when required.
  • Allow ashes from your fireplace or wood stove to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including curtains, upholstery and clothing.
  • Replace worn or damaged electrical wires and connections on vehicles and extension cords and use the proper gauge extension cord for vehicle block heaters.
  • Consider using approved timers for vehicle block heaters rather than leaving heaters on all night.
  • Ensure that vehicles are not left running inside any garage or building.
  • Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
  • Install CO alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.

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