Manitoba Public Insurance is encouraging vehicle owners to inspect their extension and block heater cords after several recent vehicle fires have been linked to electrical arcing.
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 temperatures, Manitobans plug in their vehicles to heat various engine fluids (anti-freeze/oil), allowing for easier starting. Extension cords that 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 inside a garage or any other enclosed structure.
•Don't drive over your extension cord. This can cause cracking/breaking during bitterly cold weather.
•Cover your block heater plug-in with its protective cover.
•Unplug your block heater by using the hard, rubber end. Pulling on the cord can cause breakage and potential electrical issues.
•Have your block heater cord inspected each fall by a qualified mechanic.