During periods of intense cold, follow these instructions for safe use of your heating appliances.


  • Make sure you don't overload electric circuits with portable heaters, and never leave a portable heater unattended.

  • If you need to use an extension cord, make sure it can withstand the power load by comparing the power capacity on the cord or its socket with the appliance's rating place. This helps prevent overheating and starting a fire. According to the manufacturer's standards, make sure the extension cord is away from combustible materials (clothing, curtains, furniture, etc.)

  • A blown fuse (which is screwed into an electrical panel) usually means that electrical circuits were overloaded. In this case, never replace this fuse with another of stronger intensity. Just plug appliances that use lots of electricity into other sockets so that you distribute the power load more evenly. If necessary, ask an electrician for advice to reduce the risk of fire.

  • Keep combustible materials such as furniture and curtains at least 30 cm away from electrical baseboards. Never use electrical baseboards to dry your clothes. 

  • If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have the chimney cleaned at least once a year, and more often if you burn a lot of wood.

  • In the event of an electrical outage, never use heating appliances designed for camping. They require good ventilation, and with indoor use, there is a high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Never leave a candle burning unattended or near combustible materials. Keep candles out of the reach of children. These actions have caused several fires in Montréal.

  • Before the winter, your main heating system and auxiliary heating systems (oil, natural gas or wood) should be inspected professionally to make sure they are working properly and to reduce the risk of fire.