With the winter holidays almost here, the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Emergency Management BC offer some fire safety advice to help ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season for all British Columbians.
- Keep combustibles such as trees, wrapping paper and decorations away from heat sources.
- Ensure a real tree stays fresh by watering it often. Dispose of it safely.
- Choose flame-retardant or non-combustible decorations and only use lights that have been tested and labelled by a certified testing laboratory. Consider energy-efficient LED lighting, which produces less heat and poses less of a fire risk.
- Always turn incandescent decorative lights for real trees off before leaving home or going to sleep. Certified timers can be used to pre-set on and off times.
- Ensure electrical outlets are not overloaded.
- Stovetop fires can start in a flash. Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking and keep anything flammable at a safe distance from the stove.
- When celebrating the holidays with children, designate a “kid-free zone” around the stove and food preparation areas.
- Always place candle holders on a stable surface, and never leave lit candles unattended.
- Use non-combustible containers for tea lights and votive candles. Battery operated candles are an excellent alternative.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
Smoke alarms and fire escape planning
- Ensure working smoke alarms are present on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
- Test and clean smoke alarms regularly and change batteries at least twice a year.
- Develop a fire escape plan, practise it regularly and have at least two ways out of a home. Remember to share this emergency plan with guests as well.
- Make sure holiday decorations do not block any exits.
Holiday Fire Safety web site: http://ow.ly/WDLV30hfVIB
EMBC works year-round with local governments to prepare for emergencies. For more information on how individuals and families can get prepared, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC
- Household preparedness guide: http://ow.ly/7FqY307cqXV
- Household emergency plan: http://ow.ly/ouzA30hmkNP
- How to build an emergency kit: http://ow.ly/kQ3o30mSIqc
- More detailed preparedness and safety information on:
National Fire Protection Association Project Holiday: http://ow.ly/GUwp30hfVKT
Electrical Safety Foundation International: http://ow.ly/OhDY30hfVNq
Before heading out on the roads this winter, visit Drive BC at: www.drivebc.ca
Remember to “Shift into Winter.” For more details, visit: http://ow.ly/y747306UIX5
Contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner: http://ow.ly/iEwY3075Izk
Christmas tree burn test: dry versus hydrated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbwkZe133o8