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Kitchens are a Hotspot for Fire

February 25 2014
From the desk of Thorsby CAO, Jason Gariepy

Did you know kitchen fires are the most common type of fire in Alberta homes? Cooking oil, if handled improperly, poses the greatest risk to you and your family. The first rule of keeping your home safe is to never leave cooking unattended. If there is grease fire, keep a pot or cookie sheet handy to cover the pot if the grease catches fire. Never poor water on grease fire as it will make the flames flare up.

If your oven catches fir, close the door and turn off the heat. If the fire does not go out, call 911 immediately. And always make sure to check your oven for damage before using it again.

With the recent cold weather, it is important to keep your chimney clean. Portable or fixed space heaters, including wood stoves, are often responsible for home heating deaths. Keep portable space heaters away from anything that can burn, such as clothing, furniture, and mattresses. Also, candles can pose a risk to your home. Keep candles away from anything that can burn and do not leave a candle unattended.

If you smoke, be extra cautious about how you dispose of your cigarettes or cigars. Alcohol impairment is a common factor in home smoking fire deaths as is falling asleep without properly extinguishing smoking material.

Finally, check your smoke alarm and develop an escape plan for you and your family.

While the Village of Thorsby has existing mutual aid agreements with municipalities to deal with fires, the reality is response times have increased. Previously, it would have taken our volunteer firefighters minutes to respond to a fire; now, it will take other fire departments 40 minutes or longer, nearly doubling response time. As CAO, I am working hard to identify, interview, and appoint a possible volunteer Fire Chief. I hope the walkout by the volunteer fire fighters will end sooner rather than later. We need our volunteers back in their fire station—protecting our residents, businesses, and communities—an oath they swore to do.

We all have a responsibility to protect our homes. Please plan ahead and follow the steps outlined above. And if there is an emergency, dial 911.
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