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Fire Chief Association offers holiday fire safety tips

December 9, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The holiday season presents some unique challenges when it comes to fire safety. 

With Christmas lights, candles, and other festive additions to the home, the risk of fire dramatically increases over the holidays.

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs has issued a 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety list to help keep your home safe over the holiday season.

Here’s some tips you should follow:

If you are using a real Christmas tree this year, make sure you keep the base of the trunk of the tree in water at all times to avoid having the tree dry out. Make sure you keep the tree away from any ignition source such as a fireplace, heater, or candles.

When putting up your Christmas lights, do a thorough check before you string them up. You should not use any lights that have a frayed or damaged cord.

Check your smoke alarms. This is a good time to take the opportunity to make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order – especially if you have family and friends spending an extra amount of time in your home.

After checking the smoke alarms, you should also check your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly.

Have a fire exit plan in place. Make sure everyone knows how to get out of your home safely in the event of a fire. Take extra care for young children and those that may need assistance with mobility.

Don’t overuse extension cords. While you may use extension cords to fill out your light display, they should be used only as a temporary connection.

Never run cords under rugs as this can damage the cord and cause a fire. 

If you are using space heaters for a little extra warmth, make sure to keep them at least one metre away from anything that can burn, such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations.

Make your you keep an eye on any lit candles. You should always blow out candles when leaving the room or going to bed.

Never let candles burn unattended.

Keep your matches and lighters out of the reach of children. While your matches may be handy to light holiday candles, they can be deadly in the hands of children.

The holiday season quite often means you are doing a lot of extra cooking. You should keep focused when working in the kitchen and stay there when cooking. Cooking fires almost always occur when things are left unattended.

If you have visitors that smoke, ask them to smoke outside. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires.

It’s a festive time of year, and quite often drinking alcohol goes along with the festive times.

Keep an eye out or anyone under the influence who is attempting to cook or smoke. Alcohol is a common factor in many fatal fires.

Follow these simple but good rules to keep your holidays free from an accidental fire that will ruin your Christmas.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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