1 – Holiday lights
You don’t need to be Clark Griswold to shine bright with lights this season - an electrical fire is a sure bet for a lousy holiday!
When adding lights to you outshine your neighbours remember to:
- use outdoor rated LED lights
- toss damaged strings
- hang with nail-free clips
2 – Candles and decorations
Is that candle too close to the snowman decoration on your table? Fires caused by holiday decorations and open flames from candles are all too common this season.
When it comes to candles:
- keep them away from pets and children
- put them in a sturdy container
- blow them out when you leave the room
- try battery-powered candles as a great alternative
3 – Smoke alarms
‘Tis the season – literally! Fatal fires are at their highest rate during the holidays. When seconds matter, a working smoke alarm is the gift of time in the event of a fire.
A smoke alarm should:
- be on every floor
- be tested monthly
- get new batteries annually
4 – Carbon monoxide alarms
Unlike gingerbread, it’s odourless. Unlike your uncle’s ugly Christmas sweater, it’s invisible. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that can cause flu-like symptoms.
- alert to a potential CO emergency with four beeps
- must be installed on all floors of the home
5 – Tree watering
Falling needles are your tree’s way of telling you it’s drying out and is a fire waiting to happen.
- Water your tree daily
- Be wary of heat sources near the tree such as:
- furnace vents
- non-LED lights
6 – Extension cords
Getting wound up in the holiday spirit? Don’t “overextend” your outlets!
- Extension cords are a temporary solution so:
- avoid overloading the circuit
- never run extension cords under a rug
- If more outlets are required, have them installed by a licensed electrician
7 – Candles/Hanukkah
Hanukkah Sameach to those observing Hanukkah. When using a menorah,
- keep open flames away from anything that can burn, like:
- keep lighters and matches away from children
- douse any used matches before putting in the garbage
8 – Home fire escape plans
Santa needs one way out of your home – you need two. Give your family and friends the gift of peace of mind through a home fire escape plan by:
- knowing two ways out of your home in an emergency
- familiarizing your guests with exits
9 – Cooking
Holidays are stressful enough but when 17 per cent of fires in Ontario are cooking-related, it’s important to remember to slow things down in the kitchen.
- Never leave the stove unattended
- Turn pot and pan handles inwards
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
10 – Heating sources
Baby, it’s cold outside! Staying warm this Winter Solstice means practicing fire safety. Space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces are all great ideas until an accident happens.
- Keep at least one metre (3 feet) distance between your heat source and combustibles, like:
- paper and fabrics
- Keep space heaters away from doorways to prevent tripping hazards
11 – Smoking
Lit cigarettes are Ontario’s number one cause of fatal fires. This season,
- smoke outside
- discard of safely
- use deep, sturdy ashtrays
12 – Lithium-ion batteries
Receiving a new lithium-ion toy during the festive period can be exciting but it can also add potential risk to your home.
- Always monitor the toy or device when it’s charging
- Read the manufacturer’s instructions for safe charging
- Do not exceed the recommended charging time