With Christmas fast approaching, December is a great month to brush up on your fire safety and prevention knowledge. With a little precaution and the right tips, you can make sure the fire stays in the fireplace where it belongs this holiday season.
If you prefer using a natural Christmas tree, be sure to check for a fresh, green tree with a notable fragrance. These trees are more recently cut and will be less dry than an older tree. A good way to check for freshness before purchasing your tree is to tap the trunk of the tree against the ground. If you notice more than a few needles falling from the tree, it is probably too dry. The stump should also be sticky with resin; a sealed stump will not absorb water and will need to be recut. Make sure you have a tree stand that can hold enough water to have the base of the stump completely submerged, and refill the stand daily to make sure mater covers the base of the stump.
Artificial trees can be a hire hazard as well. Make sure to set up your tree away from any heat source such as heaters, fireplaces, a television, or a sunny window. Never use lighted candles on any Christmas tree, and ornaments that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive are the safest options.
Don’t forget that indoor and outdoor lights should not be mixed, as indoor lights do not have weatherproof connections and some outdoor lights burn too hot for indoor use. Make sure your lights are free of broken bulbs or frayed wires before putting them up. Finally, remember to take down any stockings on a mantel if you intend to light a fire.
The Christmas season is a great time to check the smoke detectors in your home! By planning ahead, taking precautions, and making sure your Christmas decorations are in good repair, you can help limit the risks of a holiday disaster.
For more information on holiday safety, visit the Canada Safety Council website.