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Tip of the Month

                                                                                                       Barbecue Season Is In Full Swing: Don’t Go Up In Flames

The joys of outdoor cooking also bring fire and associated risks. Here are some safety reminders for gas and propane barbecues to protect you and your property from harm or damage.
•    Never operate a barbecue in an enclosed space, close to a structure, or near combustibles. Have a one metre radius around it free of obstructions. 
•    Keep your barbecue in tip top shape. Check for hose breakage, valve leaks, and other parts before securing the tank well and turning on the gas. 
•    When in use, never leave the grill unattended, and when finished turn the tank off before the burners so the remaining gas in the lines can burn off. This can help prevent a flash the next time the BBQ is in use.
•    Make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible and in good working order. 
Additional Tips
•    Propane companies use an additive to create an unpleasant odour like rotten eggs to make a propane leak easier to detect, so you can shut off supply immediately, stop using the grill, and clear the area.
•    Although the risk of carbon monoxide is low when using a BBQ outdoors, it is not entirely eliminated. Learn to recognize the signs of CO2 poisoning and take appropriate action.
•    Store propane tanks in an upright position, in a spot where they are unlikely to be knocked or bumped to prevent any safety risk.

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Is Your Clothes Dryer a Firetrap?

October is Fire Prevention Month. In addition to more commonly known causes of residential fires, each year there are thousands of dryer fires that cause death or injuries and result in millions of dollars of damage. Most of these can be prevented with proper dryer cleaning and venting maintenance. When lint builds up in the dryer ductwork, it chokes the airflow and causes heat to build up in the exhaust duct, creating ideal conditions for a fire.

A significant amount of lint is not caught by the lint trap which should be cleaned out after each load. This builds up inside the dryer – even on the heating element – causing the dryer to overheat and possibly catch fire. Flimsy plastic or foil duct extenders are easily kinked or crushed during installation restricting air flow, and the spiral round surfaces tend to catch more lint. Solid metal ducts and vents are recommended instead. Be sure to disconnect, clean and inspect your ductwork on a regular basis. Finally, never let your clothes dryer run while you are out of the house, or even worse, while you are asleep.