Following fires in Saint John and Fredericton, the Saint John Fire Department is providing guidance during the holiday season to keep fires away from homes.
According to the fire department, power splitters, power strips and extension cords have become prime suspects for fire hazards during the holiday season.
“People trust the electrical equipment they use,” said Roy Nolan, the Saint John Fire Investigating Captain.
“They have to be extremely careful with electrical equipment, follow all the manufacturer’s instructions. It doesn’t matter if it’s an extension cord, a power strip or a three-way or six-way splitter.
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The winter months are a common time for residents to use space heaters. The Saint John Fire Department noted that items like these are prone to catching fire when not kept in a well-ventilated area, placed next to clothing or curtains, and when placed too close of a wall.
The same can be said for other countertop items like coffee makers and toasters.
“Manufacturer’s instructions are so important to making sure you don’t have anything combustible around…that particular device,” Nolan explained.
“Make sure it’s not under some sort of cabinet. We now have with a gift and play this time of year we have a lot of lithium-ion batteries, rechargeable batteries, that if they do not follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you may have a potential fire explosion.
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Last week’s fire in Saint John raised concerns for Nolan about attic fires, which are typical in the area due to a lack of firewalls in older historic homes. Without a concrete barrier between townhouses or apartment buildings, fires can quickly start between them and quickly spread unprotected between living spaces.
The causes of the fires of December 23 in Saint John and December 25 in Fredericton are still under investigation.
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