Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Surviving A Winter Storm And Being Fire Safe

Bison's Winter Storm Guide

Winter storms can pose a serious threat to even the most prepared homeowners. Storms, which can bring blinding driving snow, extreme dips in temperature, icy and dangerous road conditions, downed power lines, and more can be stressful to manage and can even lead to dangerous issues such as winter fires.

How can you be prepared to handle a winter storm and protect your family, home, and possessions from fires during a winter storm? Keep reading to find out:

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

Most weather networks will alert you to when a winter storm is incoming, which will give you time to prepare by taking these necessary precautions:

  • Test all smoke alarms. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home to ensure that they are working properly, and that their batteries do not need to be replaced.
  • Make a plan with neighbours. Establish a “buddy system” with neighbours in your area to keep an eye on everyone’s homes in the event of a fire or emergency situation.
  • Keep your house number visible. Make sure to clear off any snow from your house numbers, or place a sign in a visible window, so that the fire department and first responders can easily identify your home in the event of a fire or emergency.
  • Make sure you can leave. Shovel your walkway and driveway before the storm hits to remove any snow, and lay out ice melting products to ensure easy access and exits from your home.

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

Power outages are common occurrences during winter storms. Many homeowners may experience powerlessness anywhere from a half an hour to several days, depending on the severity of the storm.

  • Make sure you have light. Make sure to have flashlights with fully charged batteries available. Never use candles during a power outage.
  • Keep snacks and food on hand. Never attempt to use a portable grill, griddle, or heat source indoors.
  • Stay away from downed power lines. If your power goes out and you can see the downed power line, do not approach the power line. Instead, call 311 or your local city service line and report it.

What to Do if the Power Goes Out

Being prepared in the event of a power outage is essential to keeping your family safe and secure while you wait out the storm. Follow these steps to stay fire safe in the event of a power outage:

  • Layer up. Instead of depending on portable heaters as your only source of heat, make sure to bundle up and use layers of clothes and blankets to stay warm.
  • Turn off portable heaters when you go to bed. It may be tempting to leave space heaters on while you’re sleeping to stay warm, but leaving a portable heater unattended may result in a house fire.
  • Never use candles. It may be tempting to light candles in the event of a power outage, but they may start a house fire, leaving you with few options other than facing the blizzard outside.

The fire safety experts at Bison Fire Protection are here to keep you safe and protect your home, business, and investments. Contact us at 204-237-3473 for service today.

Posted by Rob Read at 10:01 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Top Fire Safety Tips for 2017

The new year is always an exciting time. It’s a time for reflection, a time for change, and a great opportunity to review the important steps that homeowners should take in order to keep their homes, loved ones, and possessions safe from fires.

At Bison Fire Protection one of our goals is to keep you informed about the most important news relating to fire protection and safety, and we’ve put together a list of our top 10 fire safety tips for 2017, which you can read below:

1. Regularly Check Your Smoke Alarms

Your smoke alarms are your first line of defence against a fire, and are essential to alerting you that there is excess smoke in your home. 

Smoke alarms should be tested once a month, at least. We recommend scheduling your checkup for a specific day each month, such as the first Sunday, in order to make sure that it doesn’t get skipped or forgotten.

During this time make sure to thoroughly test every smoke alarm in your home by pressing the test button and making sure that the alarm beeps. If it doesn’t, then the batteries need to be replaced as soon as possible.

2. Have a Fire Action Plan

Determine the fastest and safest way to exit your home in the event of a fire, and make sure that all family members are aware of the appropriate exits in an emergency. Practice your escape plan often and make sure that small children understand the need to get outside as quickly as possible.

Once you’ve determined your fire action plan, keep a map of your home with the route drawn in on the wall, fridge, or somewhere else where it can be seen and reviewed regularly.

3. Be Careful When Burning Candles

Burning candles is a great way to add pleasant scents and soft lighting to any room in your home, but it’s important to take the following steps in order to burn them safely:

  • Use a candleholder to surround and encase your candles
  • Keep burning candles out of the reach of children or pets
  • Never burn candles near drapes or curtains
  • Never leave burning candles unattended

4  Never Smoke in Bed

Smoking is on the decline, but many people still enjoy a cigarette before bed without realizing that they are playing with deadly consequences: if you fall asleep before your cigarette has been put out, the ash and heat from the cigarette may engulf your bed in flames and result in a house fire.

With this in mind we strongly advise that you never smoke in bed.

5. Be Careful in the Kitchen

Kitchen fires are among the most common types of house fires, and are usually caused by grease fires which occur when grease, which is extremely flammable, gets too hot.

Never leave food unattended while cooking, especially on the stovetop, and make sure to keep a working fire extinguisher nearby in case of any unexpected fires.

Work with professionals who are dedicated to keeping you safe. Contact Bison Fire Protection at 204-237-3473 today.

Posted by Rob Read at 8:50 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to Prevent Winter Fires

With several feet of snow and freezing winds, the middle of winter may not seem like a time which can be prone to fires. However, there are just as many situations which may lead to a fire than during the warm summer months.

What kinds of fires should you be keeping an eye out for this season? Keep reading to learn more about preventing winter fires in your home:

Safely Dispose of Your Christmas Tree 

Many of us like to keep our festive trees around in the weeks following the holiday season, but if you purchased a live tree then you should think about getting rid of it sooner than later. Christmas trees are pine trees, which are highly flammable and can become even more susceptible to catching fire once they begin to dry out.

In fact, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that in 26% of all Christmas tree fires a heat source such as a candle or heating equipment was too close to the tree and sparked the blaze.

Check out this video from the NFPA which shows a Christmas tree going up in flames:

Christmas Tree Fire

Use Space Heaters Responsibly

Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires, with peak season in January and February of each year. In fact, space heaters account for 40% of all home heating equipment fires, according to the NFPA.

While it can be safe to use a space heater indoors, it’s important to take the following precautions to ensure that you are using it safely:

  • Never place your space heater on a rug or carpet
  • Never leave your space heater unattended
  • Never drape clothes or blankets over your space heater

Be Smart When Using Portable Generators

If your home is prone to power outages then it’s likely that you’ve already invested in a portable generator, but misusing this piece of equipment can have serious consequences. Not only can misusing a portable generator cause electrocutions and carbon monoxide poisoning, but it can put you at risk of a fire.

When using your portable generator make sure to take these important precautions:

  • Generators must be operated in well-ventilated locations outdoors and a safe distance from all doors, windows, and vents.
  • Never use your generator in an attached garage, even if the doors are left open.
  • Make sure that carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working properly.
  • Store fuel in a clearly marked container outside of your home and a safe distance away on the property.

Contact Bison Fire Protection at for effective, professional fire protection solutions in Winnipeg, Thompson, Kenora, Regina, and Brandon. Contact our main office in Winnipeg at 204-237-3473.

Posted by Rob Read at 1:56 PM 0 Comments