‘Tis the season that firefighters across the land see an increase in preventable fires; festivities can quickly turn tragic as a result of things such as unattended cooking, faulty decorative lighting and careless use of candles.
To help keep your family safe over the holidays, we will be providing you with 12 life-saving safety tips as part of the 12 Days of Holiday Fire & CO Safety campaign, presented in partnership with the Oro Medonte Fire Service and the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council.
Each day, we’ll add a new fire or CO safety tip, and give you the chance to enter into a draw to win one of twelve prize packages valued at $50. Find the entry form at the bottom of this page.
- Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children. Matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. If you smoke, have only one lighter or book of matches and keep it with you at all times.
- Go flameless. Avoid using real candles, opting instead for safer flameless candles. If you use real candles, remember to blow them out before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn.
- Give space heaters space. Keep them at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations.
- Use extension cords wisely. Avoid overloading circuits with plugs and extension cords, as this can create overheating that could result in fire. Never put cords under rugs.
- Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely. Develop and practise a home fire escape plan with everyone in your family, as well as your guests over the holidays. Once outside, stay outside and call 911 from a cell phone or neighbour’s house. Determine who will be responsible for helping anyone who may need assistance.
- Protect your family with carbon monoxide alarms; it’s the law in Ontario. If your home has an attached garage, wood or gas fireplace, or other fuel-burning devices, you must have a working CO alarm outside every sleeping area. For optimal protection, install one on every storey. Like smoke alarms, CO alarms wear out. Check the age of your CO alarms and replace them according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure smoke alarms work, replace any over 10 years old. It’s the law to have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace batteries once per year, or, choose “Worry-Free” models with 10-year sealed batteries that never need to be changed. Check the age of your smoke alarms – replace every 10 years.
- Check all lights before decorating. Before you put up lights, check the cords closely. Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged. Never plug more than 3 strings of lights together. Never connect LED to conventional lights. This is likely to wear out LED bulbs more rapidly and could pose a fire or electrical hazard.
- Water fresh trees daily. Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters or candles.
Check back tomorrow for more safety tips and more chances to win!