5 causes of summer fires and how to prevent them

5 causes of summer fires and how to prevent them

Heatwaves are accompanied by fires. Here are the 5 most common causes and ways to prevent them.

1. Potting soil and cigarette butts don’t mix

Did you know that many fires start in potting soil?

Do not flick your butts in flowerpots or flowerbeds. Use a deep ashtray instead.

Double check that ashes are cold before tossing them in the garbage.

2. When the barbecue sizzles

Play it safe and don’t spoil one of summer’s biggest pleasures.

Never light a barbecue indoors or under a roof or awning.

Set it up several metres from your home and at least one metre away from a wall or other structures.

To prevent a fire, test for leaks.

To light your barbecue

Follow these steps:

  1. Lift the barbecue hood.
  2. Open the gas cylinder or propane tank valve.
  3. Turn on one of the temperature control knobs.

Press the start button, but never more than twice.

To turn off your barbecue

  1. Close the gas cylinder or propane tank valve.
  2. Turn off all temperature control knobs once the flame is out
  3. Close the hood.

3. Beware of an electrical system overload

Avoid overloading your electrical circuits and using extension cords.

Keep on the lookout for flickering lights, circuit breaker or fuse issues, etc.

4. A working smoke detector

Did grey skies force you to cook indoors? Make sure there is a working smoke detector at all times.

If you find it too sensitive and quick to go off, move it further away instead of removing its batteries.

Conduct frequent tests and change the batteries at least twice a year.

Replace if:

  • It is damaged.
  • It is painted.
  • It emits no signal when batteries are replaced.
  • It is past the expiration date indicated on the box.

If there is no expiration date, note that smoke detectors have a maximum life expectancy of 10 years.

5. Safe storage of hazardous household products

Many household products can cause a fire, including:

  • Cleaning products
  • Alcohol
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Gas
  • Pool maintenance products
  • Heating oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Etc.

Store all these products in a clean and dry space out of the reach of children, such as in a shed or garage.

Avoid leaving flammable products out on the balcony or near a window.