Monday, December 21, 2015 - 2:15 PM

Fire Safety during the holidays

santa claus watering a real christmas tree

While you are busy wrapping, caroling, and baking Christmas cookies, make some time to ensure you have taken all the precautions to be fire safe this holiday season - and all year long.

  1. Water fresh trees daily. Make sure the base of the trunk is in water at all times, and keep the tree away from ignition sources including heaters.
  2. Use decorative lights appropriately (indoor lights indoors, outdoor lights outdoors) and throw out lights that are frayed, cracked or have otherwise exposed wires. Don't use tacks, nails or screws to secure the lights.
  3. Use extension cords wisely and don't overload outlets.
  4. Have working smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside sleeping areas and in every bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly.
  5. If you have a fuel burning appliance have working carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas and test them monthly.
  6. Have a home escape plan and practise it so everyone knows how to get out safely. Make sure your overnight guests are aware of the plan.
  7. Follow manufacturers recommendations on all home heating devices.
  8. Use battery operated candles but if you use real candles keep them away from children and pets, and blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
  9. Matches and lighters are tools, not toys. Keep them out of sight and reach from children.
  10. Be safe in the kitchen - use a timer and refrain from drinking alcohol when cooking.
  11. Use portable ethanol burning fireplaces with caution; the fuel and open flame can be dangerous.
  12. Have smokers go outside and douse butts in water before discarding them.

For more details on each of these tips, go to the St. John's Regional Fire Department website.