A brief overview of some fire safety tips.
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are some of the best ways to save lives. Since most fatal fires break out at night, a properly functioning smoke detector can wake you up before you’re incapacitated by the smoke.
Where should smoke detectors be installed?
- Install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.
- Install one smoke detector in the hall near your bedrooms.
- Install a detector on the ceiling, at least 10 cm (4 in.) from the wall, or on a wall, at 10 to 30 cm (4 to 12 in.) from the ceiling.
- If every floor is over 10 m (35 ft.) long, install two detectors on each floor, one at each end.
The Emergency and Fire Protection Department recommends that when you change your clocks in the spring and fall, you take the opportunity to change your smoke detectors’ batteries as well.
Carbon monoxide detectors
If you have a fireplace or combustion system (such as a wood stove) in your home, the Emergency and Fire Protection Department recommends installing a carbon monoxide detector.
Only a carbon monoxide detector can tell you whether there’s an abnormal level of carbon monoxide (CO) in the air. For that reason, any dwelling that has an attached garage or a combustion heater should have at least one carbon monoxide detector per floor, including the basement.
There are products on the market that combine carbon monoxide detectors with smoke detectors or propane link detectors.
When a fire breaks out, every minute counts. Firefighters arriving on the scene have to be able to connect their hose to a hydrant quickly. For that reason, fire hydrants must be accessible at all times.
Fire hydrants and snow
In the wintertime, keeping fire hydrants clear of snow is critical. Do you have a fire hydrant on your property? If so, it’s your responsibility to make sure access to it is clear. Take care not to bury the hydrant with your snow blower. If your snow is cleared by a service provider, inform the person in charge that it is important not to throw snow onto the hydrant. If you can’t see the hydrant any more, shovel the snow around it to make sure it’s accessible.
For reasons of accessibility, all signs that prohibit parking in front of a fire hydrant must be obeyed. According to the Sûreté du Québec, vehicles must be parked at least 5 m from a fire hydrant.
Our firefighters are here to ensure your safety, so please help them help you.
Propane tanks weighing more than 1 pound or 454 grams must be stored outdoors at all times, summer and winter.
Make sure you don’t keep them inside the house, an attached garage or another building like a garden shed or detached garage. Inside a building of any kind, the tanks can be hazardous both for the house’s occupants and to firefighters called in to respond to a fire or propane leak.
A full 20-lb. propane tank kept indoors can add over 430,000 BTUs of calorific potential to a fire, equivalent to 10 barbecues turned on “high!”
When storing propane tanks outside:
- Stand them up (vertically) and make sure they are protected from bumps and knocks.
- Place them at least one metre away from any combustible material.
- Do not expose them to sunlight, because the pressure inside the tank increases dramatically when surrounding temperatures climb.
- If your tank appears to be defective or highly corroded or if it’s over 10 years old, bring it back to your propane distributor.
- Never throw your tanks out in the garbage, even if they seem to be empty. They could contain enough fuel to cause an explosion.
In the winter, putting on a fire is a popular activity. Wood-burning stoves are permitted, provided that the inherent risks are well understood.
- Select hard, dry wood. Wide cracks at the ends of logs are a sign that the wood is dry.
- If you store cords of wood outdoors, cover them to protect them from the elements.
- Burn wood that has been split into small logs. Burn just a few logs at a time to minimize the formation of creosote.
- Burn only logs, not treated or painted wood, plastic or other garbage. Toxic compounds increase the formation of creosote.
- Stop using your wood stove if the glass door is cracked or broken.
- Always use a fire screen when you burn wood.
- Keep any burnable objects away from the combustion heater.
- Have your chimney swept every year or after every five cords of wood to remove any creosote residue.
Did you know that you should have your chimney swept every year? When wood is burned, tiny droplets of liquid called creosote are released into the smoke. When this inflammable liquid cools, it hardens onto the sides of the chimney, increasing the chances of a chimney fire.
For this reason, sweeping a chimney is the only effective way to prevent the creosote from catching fire. If you use your stove or fireplace a great deal, it’s recommended that you have your chimney swept after every five cords of wood. If you don’t use it as much, having it swept once a year is sufficient.
Ideally, chimneys should be cleaned in the spring because creosote deposits left during the winter, and then exposed to the summer heat, can lead to the corrosion of steel components and increase the formation of creosote blockages.
Choosing a certified chimney sweep
In Pincourt, only certified businesses are authorized to sweep chimneys. Refer to the list of Association des professionnels du chauffage (APC) members to find a chimney sweep.
In addition to holding licences recognized by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec, APC members guarantee a complete sweeping.
On request, they can also produce a chimney sweeping certificate that is recognized by several insurance companies and the fire departments of many municipalities.
In Pincourt, outdoor fires are allowed, provided they are contained in a closed fireplace or barbecue. Open-air fires that do not meet this requirement are strictly prohibited.
- Only wood can be used as fuel.
- The supervision of a responsible adult is required when lighting or monitoring a fire.
- A bucket of water, hose, extinguisher or other similar device must be within reach so that a fire can be put out in the event of an emergency.
- Never use an accelerant (like gasoline) to light a fire or keep it burning.
- Never leave a fire unsupervised.
- Make sure your fire is completely out before leaving.
- Do not make a fire in windy conditions.
- Controlling smoke: Civic-mindedness and good manners are always recommended!
Smoke propagation: demonstrate good citizenship
What could be more unpleasant than to have your clothes hanging on the clothesline pick up a strong odour of smoke? Or to have clouds of smoke from an outdoor fire fill your home?
Before lighting a fire outdoors, think about your surroundings. Make sure the smoke produced by your fireplace isn’t a nuisance for those around you.
Every year, the Emergency and Fire Protection Department responds to smoke-related annoyances and outdoor fires that don’t comply with municipal by-laws. If your smoke is bothering your neighbours, you must put out your fire immediately.
- Kidde Dual-Sensor (Photoelectric and Ionization) Smoke Alarms – Models PI2010CA and PI9010CA
- Uncertified USB chargers
- Kiddle smoke alarms - Models PI2010CA and PI9010CA
- Air exchange systems with heat recovery (Venmar)
- Young-Do-brand valves on propane gas tanks (Young-Do Inc.)
- Kidde-brand smoke alarms and combination smoke/CO alarms, models KN-COSM-IBACA, i12010S-CO-CA, and i12010S-CA
- Line voltage thermostats