PROTECTION PLUS ® Top Ten Hol­i­day Fire Safe­ty Tips

As a Secu­ri­ty and Life Safe­ty Com­pa­ny, we know that Fire Safe­ty is impor­tant 365 days a year. How­ev­er, in Decem­ber we do see an unfor­tu­nate spike in home fires. So what steps can you take to ensure your home and fam­i­ly reduces your risk of a fire? Check out our top 10 fire safe­ty tips below!

1. Wood burn­ing fire­places and wood stoves rep­re­sent an increased risk and require extra main­te­nance and cau­tion. Before light­ing your first fire of the sea­son you should check for any block­ages, such as bird’s nests etc. Chim­neys and flues should be cleaned and inspect­ed reg­u­lar­ly to pre­vent chim­ney fires and any smoke and gas­es from escap­ing into the house. Always use well-sea­soned wood, fires should not be left unat­tend­ed, and pro­tec­tive mea­sures to pre­vent young chil­dren from burns should be imple­ment­ed.

2. Portable heaters are often brought into ser­vice to tem­porar­i­ly warm up spe­cif­ic rooms or garages etc. Refrain from using exten­sion cords with heaters, and ensure the heaters are in good work­ing order, and clear of any­thing that could fall on them. If in doubt…throw it out. Nev­er use heaters designed for out­doors or a gas bar­be­cue to heat an indoor space. It’s not only a fire haz­ard but also a Car­bon Monox­ide poi­son­ing haz­ard.

3. The hol­i­day sea­son sees exten­sion cords pressed into ser­vice for all kinds of applications…often to use with Christ­mas lights etc. Always ensure the cords are CSA approved and in good con­di­tion, with no nicks or cuts. Nev­er over­bur­den exten­sion cords with mul­ti­ple devices plugged in, and nev­er run exten­sion cords under car­pets or any under any flam­ma­ble items.
4. It’s the time of year for dec­o­ra­tions! Many orig­i­nate from dol­lar stores or school craft ses­sions and are high­ly flam­ma­ble. Make sure they are well secured and away from any poten­tial igni­tion source.

5. In Decem­ber there are many hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions, Kwan­zaa, Hanukkah, Christ­mas and more. Can­dles are a big part of many cel­e­bra­tions. Of course any­time there is an open flame your fire risk ris­es expo­nen­tial­ly. Extreme dili­gence is required any­time can­dles are used. They should be good qual­i­ty, and in secure hold­ers. They should also be placed well out of reach of chil­dren and pets, and should not be placed on fur­ni­ture that is not secured. If you are leav­ing the room, extin­guish the can­dles. Nev­er use real can­dles on Christ­mas trees.

6. The desire for an authen­tic Christ­mas often means the annu­al rit­u­al of using a real ever­green as a Christ­mas tree in your home. The old­er and dri­er a Christ­mas tree becomes the high­er the fire threat. If you must have a “real tree” rather than one of the much safer arti­fi­cial trees make sure you use extra cau­tion. Keep the tree well hydrat­ed with a water tray, make sure the tree is also secured to the wall or ceil­ing, don’t rely sole­ly on a tree stand to keep it upright. Don’t leave the Christ­mas lights on when you are not in the room. Be sure to locate the tree clear of any fire­places, heaters or igni­tion sources.

7. Hol­i­days also mean plen­ty of com­pa­ny and big din­ners. Many fires orig­i­nate in a home’s kitchen. When we are dis­tract­ed the risk is high­er. A key to safe­ty in the kitchen is ask­ing for help, so you have an extra set of eyes and ears. An unat­tend­ed pot or fry­ing pan left on a hot stove can quick­ly ignite. Check and dou­ble check that your stove and oven are OFF when you are out of the kitchen, and make sure you have a work­ing fire extin­guish­er close at hand.

8. Have a fire escape plan and prac­tice it twice a year with your fam­i­ly. Decide on a safe meet­ing place, like a neighbour’s house, cor­ner store, etc. This is where every­one should meet in the event of a fire. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Nev­er go back inside for any­thing or any­one.

9. Every home is filled with valu­ables, how­ev­er some items you should con­sid­er adding fire pro­tec­tion. Either invest in a fire rat­ed safe for your dif­fi­cult to replace doc­u­ments and heir­looms, or invest in a safe­ty deposit box with your bank.

10. Chil­dren are nat­u­ral­ly curi­ous, and with a home filled with new dec­o­ra­tions the temp­ta­tions are great. We know you are busy but make sure you don’t leave lighters and match­es out when you light can­dles. Don’t leave young chil­dren unat­tend­ed with lit can­dles. The best safe­ty tool is edu­ca­tion. Teach your kids about fire safe­ty and the dev­as­tat­ing effects a fire can have on a fam­i­ly.

It’s a very busy time of year for most of us, but safe­ty should nev­er take a back seat. Make sure your smoke detec­tors are ALL in good work­ing order, and that your alarm mon­i­tor­ing call list is up to date with your alarm com­pa­ny. A safe hol­i­day makes for a hap­py hol­i­day sea­son!

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.