Beaver County COVID-19 Update

Beaver County COVID-19 Update

BESC is aware of the recent spike in cases of Covid in the Beaver County region. We strongly recommend calm in riding out this elevation of the numbers, as the Province of Alberta is also experiencing a similar situation.

We are monitoring the situation closely and listening to our partner municipalities and Directors of Emergency Management in the region. The overwhelming message is to follow current Alberta Health Services guidelines, practice physical distancing and when appropriate wear a mask. Masks are available at Tim Hortons, A&W, McDonalds and other AHS designated locations including retail outlets. It would be helpful to call first and reserve your order.

Alberta Health Services has assured us that all the cases, both the ones in the past, and now the most recent ones, are from known sources, and everyone involved is cooperating with Alberta Health Services to prevent further spread.  The general population in the Beaver County Region is at low risk.

This increase was anticipated and shows the conditions that existed up to about a week ago, although heading into the upcoming long weekend it is important that we stay vigilant to reduce the cases and protect the vulnerable. Together we can mitigate this temporary outbreak. Please follow the Covid Links on our website at  www.besc.ca or for further information call our office 780-336-3041

 

smoke killsSmoke is the cause of the majority of fire-related deaths.

Normally, air is made-up of about 21 percent oxygen. When it falls below the 17 percent level, thinking and coordination become difficult. Below 16 percent, a person's behaviour turns irrational, hindering escape efforts. Breathing becomes impossible when oxygen levels fall below 6 percent.Hot flames are low on the list of killers during a fire. A smouldering fire may go undetected for hours, especially while people are asleep. In addition to deadly carbon monoxide, smoke carries poisons such as hydrogen cyanide and irritants such as formaldehyde and acetic acid. Added to this lethal potion are other toxic substances that come from the burning of synthetic materials commonly found in the home, especially those emitted from plastics and foams. Oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and ammonia are just a few examples. These agents can have a lethal effect before a sleeper is even disturbed; especially when one considers that the fire itself consumes life-sustaining oxygen.

Super-heated air and gases rise quickly and produce what is known as a "hot" fire.

Temperatures above 370°C (700°F) are common in a "hot" fire. At such high temperatures, unconsciousness and death can occur within minutes. Bedrooms located in the upper floors of residences are frequently subjected to these conditions in the advanced stages of a fire.

It is important to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. However, carbon monoxide detectors do not replace the need for prevention through yearly maintenance and inspection of heating systems and appliances.

  • Smoke inhalation from fires is the most common form of carbon monoxide poisoning. Cigarette smoke and vehicle exhaust are the most common sources of regular carbon monoxide exposure.
  • There must be an adequate supply of air for complete burning or combustion, or an excessive amount of carbon monoxide will accumulate indoors. Ensure that your wood stove or fireplace is not competing – for long periods of time – with your clothes dryer, kitchen, bathroom and attic vent fans, central vacuum cleaners and kitchen barbecues, which exhaust air from the home and so starve the furnace or the fireplace of oxygen.
  • Proper venting of fuel-burning appliances to the outside is also essential to prevent collection of carbon monoxide gas inside buildings.
  • Never insulate or try to seal up a drafty hood, wind cap or exhaust vent on any natural gas appliance (furnace, water heater, range, dryer, space heater or fireplace). Keep all fuel-burning equipment free of lint, dust and trash. Don't store anything close to the equipment that could restrict air circulation.
  • Do a visual inspection of the equipment to look for signs of equipment problems, such as soot on a fireplace face, water collecting near a burner or rusted venting. If even a small doubt exists, have the equipment inspected by a qualified technician.
  • Periodically check vent pipes between gas appliances and the chimney for corrosion or rust.
  • Equipment that uses natural gas should show a clear blue flame—a yellow or orange flame may indicate a problem. If a problem appears, call a qualified technician.
  • Ensure a source of fresh air is available, for an example an open window or flue, when operating a wood-burning fireplace.

car snowEvery vehicle should be equipped with an emergency survival kit in the winter.  It should contain:car kit

  • Shovel
  • Sand, salt or kitty litter
  • Traction mats
  • Tow chain
  • Compass
  • Cloth rags or roll of paper towel
  • Work gloves
  • Warning light or road flares
  • Extra clothing and footwear
  • Emergency food pack
  • Axe or hatchet
  • Booster cables
  • Ice scraper and brush
  • Road maps
  • Matches and a "survival" candle in a deep coffee can (to warm hands, heat a drink or use as an emergency light)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Methyl Hydrate or Isopropyl Alcohol (for fuel line and windshield de-icing)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit with seatbelt cutter
  • Blanket (look for special "survival" blankets)

fireplaceA Fireplace becomes dangerous when accumulated tar or creosote catches fire or from uncontrolled burning or over-fuelling. Other causes of fireplace-related fires are substandard design or installation and lack of safety precautions.

  • Open the damper before lighting the fire, and keep it open until the ashes are cool enough to touch.
  • Ensure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Do not store combustible materials such as paper or wood too close to the fireplace.
  • Use a screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers from escaping and igniting carpets, etc.
  • Never leave children alone near a fireplace.
  • Use dry, well-seasoned wood in small amounts.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and serviced at regular intervals by a professional.
  • Never overload your fireplace.
  • Never use charcoal starter fluids, gasoline or any flammable substance to start fires.
  • When using artificial logs, burn only one at a time and follow instructions on the wrapping.
  • Always place the ashes in a metal container and take them outside the house.

The winter season is the worst season for fires in Canada. That is why all Canadians must be mindful of the importance of fire prevention and safety. During the winter, we must heat our homes, most of our meals are prepared and eaten indoors, our clothing is dried indoors and people who smoke tend to do so indoors.

  • Heating appliances such as space heaters should not have anything combustible close by and need at least one metre of space around them. Inspect the electrical cord attached. If it overheats, you have a fire hazard. Keep young children away from them.
  • Electrical and heating systems can fail and become fire hazards. Ensure they are regularly checked by a professional, especially prior to the winter season when fireplaces, heaters, appliances and other electrical equipment are in maximum use.
  • Smoking while in bed, tired or under the influence of alcohol or medication is the most common cause of fires that kill.
  • Most chimney fires occur with wood-burning fireplaces. Ensure chimneys are cleaned and professionally inspected regularly. Burn only small quantities of wood at a time.
  • Teach children that fire is not a toy; it is a tool we use to cook food and heat our homes.
  • Educate your children about the dangers of fire and make sure they know that all fires, even small ones, can spread very quickly.
  • Never use a flammable liquid near a flame or source of spark. Be aware of hidden sources like water heater pilot lights, electric motors or heaters. Never smoke while pouring or using flammable liquids.
  • If even a small doubt exists about any appliance/equipment that you use, do not hesitate to contact a qualified technician. It may save your life, and the lives of your loved ones.
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