The holidays are here, bringing with them festive fun, good food, visits from family and friends and lots of wonderful gifts – all of the excitement makes it easy to forget that safety is an important part of making sure your holidays are the happiest ever!
Fire Safety is one of the most important things to be cognizant of over the holiday season. Here are some simple, common-sense tips from Maritime Fire Chiefs that will help keep your home and family safe during Christmas and New Year’s festivities.
Be careful with candles. While this may seem obvious, there are fires caused every holiday season because someone inadvertently left a candle unattended.
One of the best ways to candle safely is to ensure the flame is protected by a glass globe or some other non-flammable covering.
Another great alternative – flameless, LED candles – they look incredibly real, create no heat, and turn themselves off automatically after four hours (in case you forget!).
Lights can get hot. Bright lights mean heat (unless they’re LED). Hot lights need to have breathing space around them.
Don’t smother them with flammables like garland or other holiday decorations – and remember to turn them off regularly, so they can cool down.
Hot lights, pets and toddlers can be a recipe for disaster – make sure you supervise children and pets around hot holiday lights.
Extension cords. They’re a must-have for most holiday decorating. But we all tend to do things with them at Christmas that we would not normally do.
Things like running them under area rugs, through ceilings, around and between tree branches…you know what I mean.
Make sure you don’t overload your cords (just because a cord has six plug-ins does not mean you should use them all!), and make sure your cords are CSA approved – there are a lot of inexpensive import cords in the market that may not meet Canadian safety standards.
Use the right cord for the job. While that may seem obvious, it’s easy to make mistakes and use an indoor cord for an outdoor job, or a light-duty cord for a heavier-duty application.
Storing electrical cords in their original packaging makes it easy to be certain you’ve got the right cord for every job.
Check your chimney. First of all, it needs to be in good shape for Santa’s arrival! But there’s more to it than that. One of the most common fire calls at this time of year is related to heating – wood stoves and fireplaces that have not been inspected for a while.
Christmas paper, cardboard packaging – these tend to get burned at Christmas – and they make a large flame and quick heat – both things which can easily start a chimney fire if your chimney is filled with creosote, or if it hasn’t been used since last Christmas and hasn’t been inspected since.
Check your couch. You may have guests smoking in your home over the holidays, and if you do, it’s a good idea to take cushions out of your couch when you go to bed and just leave them on the floor until morning to ensure there are no smouldering materials down in between.
Furniture fires are a surprisingly regular call to fire departments over the Christmas holidays.
Smoke detectors. It may seem obvious, but it’s wise to inspect your smoke alarms and CO alarms – and make sure they’re in perfect working order before holiday festivities start.
There’s no more important holiday preparation than making sure you have working smoke alarms – in the event of a fire, early smoke detection offers the best chance to save your home, and your family.
Originally Published by The Chronicle Herald
Alexandra Kelter is a social media specialist with Central Home Improvements. Her column covers many aspects of home improvement, both indoor and outdoor, and will combine trending styles with practical applications all within realistic budgets. Kelter is also passionate about fashion, travel, living by the ocean and her bulldog.