SEASONAL FIRE SAFETY
WINTER HOME HEATING
Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most heating fires from happening. Review this info sheet from the National Fire Protection Association to find out how: Winter Heating Safety
Candles are a traditional and beautiful part of the holiday season. They can also be a source of fire in your home, so be cautious with them. Place candles in sturdy candle holders and ensure they are well away from the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations. Ensure that candles are located well away from combustible materials and never use candles to decorate a Christmas tree.
Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure that they are out of reach of children. Also, keep candles away from drafts or windows. Never burn candles for more than four hours at a time and ensure the wicks are short enough to avoid a high flame. In addition, keep matches, lighters out of reach of children and pets and never leave a child unattended in a room with a candle and do not allow your children or teens to have candles in their bedrooms. Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY
Most Christmas fires can be prevented. That's just one of the messages to remember this holiday season. Before buying your Christmas tree, test it for freshness by tapping the base of the tree on the ground. If needles fall or can be pulled off easily the tree is too dry. At home, find a cool spot for your tree, away from heater vents and the fireplace. Keep your tree as fresh as possible by watering it often.
Though they are fireproof, metal or aluminum trees are electrically conductive and cannot be decorated with any electrical products. The metal can cause a short and a fire or simply become hot or deliver a nasty shock. Aluminum trees can be illuminated by a colourful spotlight placed a safe distance from the tree, as set out by manufacturer's directions.
Always decorate with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials. Christmas wrapping and decorations can be highly combustible and should be kept away from heat sources. Use only those lights which have been tested and labelled by an approved testing laboratory (i.e. those with the UL or ULC label). Don't overload electrical circuits or extension cords. Always turn Christmas lights off before leaving home or going to sleep. Avoid using timers on indoor lights. Tree lights could turn on when no one is home and create a potential fire hazard.
When setting up outdoor lighting, turn off the electricity supply outlet first. Keep electrical objects off the ground and clear of metal objects. Use insulated tape to hold lights in place and run cords above ground to keep them out of puddles or snow.