Arson prevention tips for residents

Spring brings a spike in purposely set fires in Winnipeg

On top of warmer weather, spring also brings an increase in the number of fires in the city.

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service finds during the month of May is also when the amount of arsons peak.

These are fires set to readily available combustible materials, according to Scott Wilkinson, Assistant Chief of Community Risk Reduction for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

That is why Wilkinson said it is important for residents to take a few simple steps to protect themselves and their property from purposely set fires.

“Keep garbage, yard waste, or bulky waste, such as old furniture, and yard waste away from your home, garage, and fence,” he said, adding residents can schedule a bulky waste pickup online or by contacting 311.

Residents should not store their yard waste next to any buildings or fences.
Residents should not store their yard waste next to any buildings or fences.

Residents should only put their garbage and recycling carts as well as yard waste out on their collection day. This helps to eliminate potential fire hazards.

Additional fire prevention tips include:

  • Store flammable material safely
  • Keep shrubs and trees near buildings trimmed and watered and ensure they are regularly cleared of dead plant matter
  • Do not extinguish cigars or cigarettes in potted plants. Potting soil and peat moss can be combustible
  • Keep doors and windows secured. Don't use double-keyed locks or bars on bedroom windows that could trap a person inside during a fire
  • Use motion-activated lights to brighten the outside of your home or garage

Wilkinson urged residents about the importance of having a home escape plan in the event a fire occurs on your property.

“Make sure to not only develop the plan, but to regularly review and practice it with your family,” he said.

Residents can report fire hazards, including abandoned bulky waste, by contacting 311.

Originally posted on May 22, 2019

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