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Don't let old block heater cord become fire risk: MPI

MPI recommends that a qualified mechanic look at a vehicle's block heater cord every fall.

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MPI recommends that a qualified mechanic look at a vehicle's block heater cord every fall. (MIKE APORIUS / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES)

Don’t be one of dozens of Manitobans who find their vehicles wrecked by fire due to broken block heater plugs or worn-out extension cords, says Manitoba Public Insurance. MPI said a "cracked extension cord, or block heater cord with a corroded plug" can spark a blaze.

"Each year in Manitoba about 1,000 vehicles are damaged by fire; several dozen are the direct result of damaged extension cords or worn blockheater/in-car heater plugs," said an MPI news release. "The majority of these fires take place in winter."

MPI says people should get new cords if theirs have wires showing, or they’re cracked.

"With personal safety in mind, people are advised not to plug in their vehicles within a garage or any other enclosed structure," said the release.

MPI advises people not to drive over cords, and to pull the electrical cord out by its hard end.

They also recommend that a qualified mechanic should look at a cord every fall.

Gabrielle.giroday@freepress.mb.ca

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