THUNDER BAY – Living – Cold winter months mean more time indoors, more time with heaters, lights, and other electric appliances running. The holiday season means a Christmas tree, lights, and festive times, but also means taking the time to make sure you reduce the risk of fire.
The Government of Ontario says, “Before roasting chestnuts on an open fire, learn how to keep your family safe with holiday fire safety burning bright in your mind”.
As part of the Holiday Fire Safety campaign, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management offers simple tips to enjoy a fire-safe holiday season:
- Install and test smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home. Don’t forget about carbon monoxide alarms if you have a fuel burning appliance or an attached garage.
- Blow out candles before leaving the house.
- Make sure everyone knows two ways out of your home. Develop and practise a home escape plan with family and holiday guests.
- Ensure woodstoves/fireplaces/chimneys are maintained and in good working order.
- Keep Christmas trees away from ignition sources.
- Stay in the kitchen while cooking — especially if using oil or high temperatures.
- Designate a meeting place outside your home, such as a tree or a lamp post, where everyone can be accounted for.
- In case of fire, call the fire department from outside the home, from a cellphone or neighbour’s home.
- The top five causes of fires in December are from heating equipment, unattended cooking, electrical distribution equipment, cigarettes, and appliances.
- Last December, there were 64 injuries and 14 fatalities related to fires in the province.