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Winter Safety

During the winter months, the frqeuency of residential fires increases dramatically in Canada. Be mindful of hazards while preparing your home for winter.

Heating Appliances

  • For heat with wood or fuel pellets, make sure the appliance has proper clearances according to the manufacturer's specifications. Have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional. Children should be instructed to stay at least 1 metre (3 feet) away.
  • For an oil furnace, make sure it is serviced regularly by a qualified technician, and that the ventilation system is cleaned and checked.
  • Heating appliances that burn fossil fuels produce deadly carbon monoxide gas which may build up if the ventilation system is not working properly. Protect yourself by installing a carbon monoxide detector.

Disposal of Firewood Ashes

Fireplace ashes and embers could still ignite long after the fire has died down. Avoid a fire disaster in your home by properly disposing of ashes with these simple tips.


  • Give ashes time to cool completely in the fireplace before removing.
  • Scoop ashes with a metal shovel and store in a metal container with a tight fitting lid.
  • Keep metal containers off decks, porches and out of garages and well away from structures.
  • Soak ashes in water before replacing the lid.


  • Store ashes in plastic garbage cans or containers, paper or plastic bags, or cardboard boxes.
  • Remove ashes or embers while hot.
  • Store other combustibles in the same container.

Smoke Alarm

Don't forget to change the battery in your smoke alarm and test it to ensure the device is working properly. It's a good habit to check your smoke alarm twice per year when Daylight Savings begins and ends.

Emergency Kit

Make a 72 Hour Emergency Kit so you will be ready for power outages. Find more information about what your kit should include at