WELLAND – Welland Fire and Emergency Services responded to 2,748 emergency calls in 2017. That was an increase of 119 calls from 2016. Although emergency calls for building fires decreased by 32 from the previous year, Welland Fire reports the fire loss in 2017 totalled $3.7M, which is a $2M increase from 2016.
Welland Fire reports that kitchen fires were the most frequent fire type. Several kitchen fires were started by unattended cooking and overheated cooking oils. Welland Fire Prevention Officers say kitchen fires are preventable and encourage residents to set timers and remain nearby when cooking.
Call Type 2017 2016
Building Fires 70 102
Vehicle Fires 18 20
Medical Emergencies 1414 1344
Burning Complaints 85 118
Car accidents 214 203
Technical rescue incidents 33 40
(water/ice, elevator, high angle)
Wood burning appliances were also the cause of a few fires in 2017. Welland Fire Deputy Chief Adam Eckhart says ashes need to be disposed of in an approved container and moved outside. Deputy Eckhart urges those with wood burning appliances to burn clean dry firewood or standard approved fuel. It is a requirement that certified professionals inspect wood burning appliances regularly and keep chimneys clean and clear of obstructions. New owners of burning appliances must have a professional install and maintain according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are the law in Ontario. Homeowners must install smoke alarms on all levels of the home and CO alarms outside all sleeping areas. For safety, test alarms monthly, replace batteries yearly, and replace battery operated and hard-wired alarms every 10 years.
“Six people were injured by fire last year in our city,” said Eckhart. “There were two notable fire incidents where lives were saved by smoke alarms. We couldn’t ask for a better outcome in these circumstances. Working smoke alarms save lives.”
For more information on fire safety, smoke, CO alarms, and fire safety inspections, visit welland.ca or call Welland Fire and Emergency Services at 905-735-9922 ext. 231.
(Source: City of Welland news release)