Holiday Safety Tips from Fire Services
Medicine Hat – The holiday season represents a time for family, festivities and good cheer. However, it is also the time when there is an increased risk of home fires from cooking, Christmas trees, candles and holiday decorations.
Medicine Hat Fire Services would like to remind residents that by taking preventive steps and following simple rules of thumb, most home fires can be prevented.
• Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. If you need to step away momentarily ensure you set a timer and continue to check on the stove. If you have to be away turn off the stove, oven or dryer until you return.
• Stay in the kitchen while you’re using the stovetop and keep anything that can catch fire away from it.
• Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn and always blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
• Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces.
• Avoid using candles in the bedroom.
• Use flameless candles which look and smell like real candles.
• Ensure artificial trees are labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
• If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched. Before placing it in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
• Ensure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
• Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory and be aware of whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect and do not overload electrical outlets.
Fire Services also want to remind residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms on all levels and in all bedrooms, so they have early warning to safely exit the building.
By following these fire prevention tips and measures, you can greatly reduce the risk of fire in your home, and enjoy a safe holiday season.
Visit www.nfpa.org holiday for more information and safety tips.
Fire Prevention Officer
Medicine Hat Fire Service