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Keep fire safety in mind as temperatures drop!

Hamilton, ON – November 26, 2015, – The Hamilton Fire Department is urging everyone to keep fire safety in mind as the temperatures turn colder.

“We often see more home fires during the winter months due to heating equipment and appliances,” said Hamilton Fire Chief Robert Simonds “People need to pay close attention to potential fire hazards such as fireplaces, furnaces, chimneys/vents, and space heaters.”

There are some simple things people can do to stay fire safe during the colder months:

  1. Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered fuel contractor. Go to to find a contractor near you.

  2. 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.

  3. Burn dry, well-seasoned wood in fireplaces and woodstoves to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up in chimneys.

  4. Allow ashes from your fireplace or woodstove to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside.

  5. Keep space heaters at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn, including curtains, upholstery and clothing.

  6. Replace worn or damaged electrical wires on extension cords and ensure the proper gauge of extension cord for vehicle block heaters.

  7. Consider using approved timers for vehicle block heaters rather than leaving heaters on all night.

  8. Ensure that vehicles are not left running inside any garage or building.

  9. Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.

  10. Install CO alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.

The Hamilton Fire Department reminds everyone that the Ontario Fire Code requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms are required outside all sleeping areas if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. For more information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, or fire safety, contact our Fire Prevention Division at 905 546-2424 Ext. 1380, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or visit our web-site at

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