12 Tips of Holiday Fire & CO Safety

December 16, 2019
Fire & Emergency Services
Holiday Fire Safety

1) 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.

2) Check all lights before decorating & check cords closely. Discard sets that are frayed/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 & could pose a fire/electrical hazard.

3) 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 & outside all sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly, replace batteries once per year.

4) Protect your family with carbon monoxide alarms; it's the law in ON. If your home has an attached garage, wood or gas fireplace, or other fuel-burning device, you must have a working CO alarm outside every sleeping area.

5) Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely. Develop & practise a home fire escape plan with everyone in your family, as well as your guests over the holidays. Once outside, stay outside & call 911 from a cell phone or neighbour's house.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) 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.

9) 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.

10) Watch what you heat. Always stay in the kitchen and pay attention to your cooking - especially if using oil or high temperatures. If a pot catches fire, carefully slide a tight-fitting lid over the pot to smother the flames and then turn off the heat.

11) Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires. Encourage smokers to smoke outside and use large, deep ashtrays that can't be knocked over. Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.

12) There's more to responsible drinking than taking a cab home. With all the festive cheer this time of year, keep a close eye on anyone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is often a common factor in many fatal fires.