WINNIPEG - The extreme weather has resulted in heavy use of block heaters and extension cords over the last few weeks.
A number of recent vehicle fires have Manitoba Public Insurance encouraging vehicle owners to inspect their block heaters and extension cords to reduce the risk of an electrical fire.
A cracked extension cord, or block heater cord with a corroded plug, can result in "electrical arcing" which can quickly spark a fire. The majority of these fires take place in winter.
During bitterly cold winter temperatures, Manitobans will plug in their vehicles to heat various engine fluids (anti-freeze/oil), allowing for easier starting. Extension cords which are cracked or have exposed wires should be replaced. Corrosion can be caused by exposure to moisture, dirt and road salts. With personal safety in mind, people are advised not to plug in their vehicles within a garage or any other enclosed structure.
Safety tips for extension cords/block heater plugs