We are just days away from Christmas, and with the holidays in full swing, many households are full of excess clutter and decor. But did you know the presence of additional holiday items in your home can make for unsafe conditions? According to statistics from both the Calgary and Airdrie fire departments, fire-related deaths double in Alberta during December.
Keep your home and holiday guests safe this season with some simple practices:
- Use certified lights only, from organizations such as: CSA, ULC, cUL, etc.
- Use indoor lights inside only, and outdoor lights outside only. Outdoor lights burn too hot for the indoors, and indoor lights aren’t weatherproof for your exterior.
- Inspect your lights before use, check for cracked bulbs and frayed wires on the strings.
- A maximum of three light strands should be connected together.
- Don’t overload your circuits or outlets.
- Ensure you turn off your lights before you leave the home or go to sleep.
- Don’t run extension cords under rugs or create tripping hazards.
- If you’re going for a real tree, the fresher the better. Older trees tend to be dryer and can be a fire hazard.
- Cut your tree four centimetres diagonally to absorb water easily.
- Place your tree away from heat sources, never use candles on your tree.
- Keep your tree hydrated.
- Never put tree branches or needles in fireplaces or open heat sources.
- Avoid electric lights on metallic trees
- Don’t add chemicals to the tree water if you have children or pets.
- Choose decorations that are flame-retardant only.
- Do not use metallic decorations on your Christmas tree or anywhere that could come in contact with heat sources, like lights.
- Avoid using decorations that have any faults or flaws on them.
- Recycle wrapping paper and never dispose of it in the fireplace or in an open flame.
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order, you’ll likely have additional people in your home during the holidays so you want to make sure everyone is safe.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s had the maintenance done, these can be a real fire hazard.
- Light candles only where safe to do so, never near anything flammable and always blow them out when you leave a room.
- Use space heaters in open areas, and never near anything flammable or covered. Make sure to unplug space heaters when you’re not in the room as well.
If you’re looking for more great holiday safety tips, check out the City of Airdrie website here, where they have a complete guide available. Enjoy the holiday season, and stay safe!