Keep your holiday disaster-free

Holiday safety tips that ring true all year round.

Firewise logo

Firewise logo

Every year in British Columbia, the joy of the holiday season is marred by tragic fires. We urge you to take a few life-saving minutes to protect yourself and your family. Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are in good working order and change the batteries, if necessary. Then review your fire escape plan. Do all members of your household know two ways out of your home? Careless smoking and cooking are, by far, the leading causes of fire deaths, so please take extra care during this festive season.

Don’t invite disaster to your holiday celebrations.

This season is highlighted with gatherings of people, food, drink, fancy clothing, candles, decorations and the fireplace. Due to our business we far too often allow our personal and loved one’s safety to take a back seat.

Holiday safety should be part of our planning. Below are a few suggestions to make your holiday season remembered for its joyfulness and not for its tragedy.

A Few Suggestions

• Be sure to test your smoke detectors.

• Have your chimney cleaned, and don’t forget the “clean out” boxes.

• Clean your oven and stove prior to the holiday.

• Keep kitchen clutter away from the stove and oven.

• Be extra careful with matches and candles.

• Keep decorations away from sources of heat, open flames, electric heaters and exposed electric bulbs.

• Don’t overload electric outlets.

• Inspect electrical cords and light sets. If in doubt— throw them out.

Christmas Lights

• Purchase only CSA or ULC or UL with a Maple leaf approved lights.

• Check all indoor and outdoor lights for frayed cords, replace if necessary.

• Never use lights that have an empty socket.

• Lights should not touch combustible materials.

• Use only outdoor lights for “outdoors”.

• Turn off all Christmas lights prior to leaving your home or going to bed.

• Avoid the use of extension cords.

• Never run an electrical cord under carpeting.

• Electronic decorations can cause overloaded circuits. Watch for signs of dimming.

• Do not overload electrical circuits, such as wall outlets and extension cords.

• Use an approved power bar. As an extra safety precaution, dispose of holiday wrappings as soon as you are finished with your gift exchanging, placing them into a closed metal container outdoors.

Until next time, be firewise—prepare and practice a home fire escape plan.