Be careful with candles

Christmas is nearing and so is an end to another year. But it is important to practice fire safety this Christmas and New Year’s.
Why? To avoid the dangers of carelessness during a time of happiness and celebration, when people are relaxed and not as alert as usual.
Throughout the years, I attended far too many fires. The majority of them were related to smoking materials, cooking, and candles.
Remember: smokers need watchers! After parties, check upholstery, wastebaskets, and ashtrays for smoldering cigarettes.
Special precautions must be taken when using candles indoors. Always place the candle in a candlestick before lighting to provide a sturdy base and to collect melted wax.
Candles should be placed far enough away from combustible materials (such as curtains, bedding, and Christmas cards) to prevent ignition. Never place candles near a door because if a fire starts, your exit out of the room could be blocked.
And never place a lighted candle in a window—it could easily fall off the window ledge or ignite the curtains.
Lighted candles should never be left unattended in a room and they should be extinguished when you leave the room. Like matches and lighters, candles should be placed out of the reach of children.
Children should never be left alone with a candle, nor should they be allowed to light or use a candle without adult supervision!
Also, due to family tradition as well as the ethnic background of many people in Canada and the United States, people still use candles on Christmas trees!
This practice is extremely dangerous, and can result in a furious fire within seconds.
Remember, if you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. But if you never learn what you need, you may lose everything . . . your family and your life!
Safety—it starts with you!
Tyler J. Moffitt served with the OPP as well as 15 years as a firefighter and emergency responder.

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