North Bay Fire and Emergency Services had one last fire to fight as the calendar flipped to 2018.
A structure fire in a detached garage on a property on Circle Lake Road resulted in no loss of life or injuries. Damages are estimated at $75,000.
Fire Chief Jason Whiteley says the cause of the fire is believed to have originated while charging a battery.
Whiteley says NBFES responded at 9:27pm to the reported structure fire. Upon arrival, firefighters found a 24′ x 24′ detached garage fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters encountered a high fuel load including a vehicle in the garage. Fire personnel were also concerned with a large propane tank stored adjacent to the garage, exacerbated by conducting operations in the extreme cold.
Batteries contain corrosive acid and produce explosive gas, a by-product of their operation. Care needs to be taken to avoid flame and sparks that could ignite the hydrogen gas and cause an explosion. The following safety tips are recommended :
- Charge the battery in a well-ventilated area.
- Don’t remove the vent caps as most are designed to be flame resistant.
- Cover the vent area of the battery with a wet cloth to inhibit sparks from igniting escaping gas.
- Turn the battery charger off before connecting and disconnecting leads.
- Connect the positive lead first then the negative lead to avoid sparks.
- Do not attempt to charge a frozen or damaged battery or a battery with insufficient electrolyte.
- If the battery becomes hot or if violent gassing or spewing of electrolyte occurs, turn off the battery charger. Resume charging when the area has been well vented at a reduced charging rate. Always follow the manufacturers charging guidelines.
- Only use a battery charger approved or certified by ULC, UL or CSA.