(Advocate file photo/AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

(Advocate file photo/AP Photo/Ethan Swope)

Busy Red Deer Emergency Services department offers home fire safety tips

After responding to five structure fires since Nov. 4, Red Deer Emergency Services is offering tips to keep Red Deerians and their property safe this winter.

According to EMS, unattended cooking pots and improper disposal of smoking materials led to two of these recent fires.

Residents are being encouraged to always stay in the kitchen when using appliances to cook; never leave cooking unattended.

Smoking materials, including cigarette butts, should be disposed of in a deep, sturdy ashtray or non-combustible container — and never emptied directly into a trash can.

Ashtrays should also be placed away from anything that can burn.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the leading cause of house fires. But heat sources, such as portable electric heaters and fireplaces, are the second leading cause.

During the winter months it’s important to take extra caution while using portable space heaters.

Turn them off when you go to bed, or leave the room.

And purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing laboratory that have an automatic shut-off feature if tipped over.

Space heaters should be placed on a solid, flat surface and kept away (including their electrical cords) from things that can burn, as well as high traffic areas and doorways.

Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.And do not plug anything else into the same circuit as the one being used for the space heater. Doing so could result in overheating.

For more fire safety tips, please check out the Home Safety Booklet available at www.reddeer.ca/firesafety.

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