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Fire prevention while self-isolating

As the Ontario Fire Marshal warns against putting masks in the microwave
Waterloo Fire Department
KitchenerToday file photo

Ontario's Fire Marshal (OFM) is reporting there's been an increase in fire deaths this year as COVID-19 measures force people to stay at home and do more cooking. 

Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in Ontario, so when you cook, you should always stay in the kitchen.

"If (you) have to leave the kitchen, take that pot that's on the stove, put it on a different element, and turn the stove off," said John Percy, Public Education Officer for Waterloo Fire and Emergency Services. 

If the pot does catch on fire, Percy said, you should put an oven mitt on, grab a lid, slide the lid over the pot, and that will put the fire out. 

"What we don't want people to do is to put the pot in the sink, and pour water on it, as it will cause an instant explosion," said Percy. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues, personal protective equipment is being used, and Percy is warning people not to use a microwave to sterilize their face mask. 

"A lot of these masks have a piece of metal in them, and are made out of fabric, so please don't put them in a microwave, or an oven as it's not the best way to sterilize a mask ... if you're not sure I strongly recommend you check the labels that are on the packaging," 

Percy said although hand sanitizers can disinfect germs, they're a flammable product, so you should always keep them away from any heat source. 

He added with it being Emergency Preparedness Week in Ontario, everyone should have a 72-hour emergency kit in their home, or vehicle, at all times, just to make sure they have extra supplies. 




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