It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just over a week away. As everyone is busy buying last-minute gifts for their friends and loved ones it’s important to not forget about Fire Safety when doing your last-minute Christmas Shopping.
Please find some Fire Safety Tips to keep your home safe during the holidays:
Christmas Tree (Real or Artificial)
If you are planning on buying a real tree, it is important to make sure that it is still fresh and not already starting to dry out. You can check the tree’s freshness by pulling on its needles. If they are hard to pull off they are still fresh. If the needles come off easily and are already dropping that is a sign that the tree is already starting to dry out and that it is a sign that it is potentially flammable.
Make sure when choosing the location of your tree that you keep it away from a wood burning or natural gas fireplace or any other source of heat (like a baseboard heater). Any source of heat will dry out your real tree much faster.
To make sure that your tree does not dry out quickly, make sure that it has plenty of water in its base every day.
If you are buying or already own an artificial tree, make sure it is labelled ‘fire resistant.’ Fire resistant does not mean that it will not catch on fire or that it is completely fire-proof. It means that it will not burn as easily if it does catch on fire.
See the video below that shows how quickly a Dry Christmas Tree will burn when dry compared to a wet Christmas Tree
Always make sure that you purchase electrical decorations from reputable stores. It is important to avoid counterfeit products even though they are probably cheaper and more tempting to buy as we all like to save money.
Make sure that you look for a recognized certification mark to make sure that they meet Canadian safety standards.
Do not use staples and nails to put up decorations. Make sure that you put them up properly with proper clips to hang them.
Lights & Extension Cords
Always use lights that have the mark of an accredited certification agency. Make sure that you use the lights correctly for their rating. Indoor lights are to be used indoors and outdoor lights are to be used outdoors.
Check your light strings before putting them up to make sure that there are no broken light sockets or frayed or damaged wires. For fire safety make sure that any damaged sets are replaced or thrown out.
Make sure that when using outdoor lights that you always plug them into a GFCI outlet.
The maximum amount of lights your should string together on a single extension cord is three (3).
Do not overload electrical outlets. A sign that an outlet is overloaded is a fuse that continually blows or a breaker that constantly trips. Overloaded circuits can potentially overheat and start a fire.
Check to make sure that your extension cords are not frayed or damaged. If they are damaged please replace them, a damaged extension cord could lead to a very nasty shock or overheat and potentially cause a fire.
Turn off all the lights when you go to bed or leave the house. If the lights short out they could potentially start a fire.
We would like to wish all of our customers and friends a Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season!