Keep your holidays safe and merry

(Fort Frances, ON) – Fire Chief Tyler Moffitt is calling on all residents of Fort Frances and the surrounding area to practice Holiday Fire & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Safety.

Being prepared to act in the event of a fire or CO incident can start with simply pressing the test button and having the confidence that working Smoke & CO Alarms are in your home.

Tyler Moffitt

HOLIDAY LIGHTS: You don’t need to be Clark Griswold to shine bright with lights this holiday! Consider using LED lights and hang with nail-free clips for your outdoor-rated lights. Cut your loss and toss damaged strings – an electrical fire is a sure bet for a lousy holiday.

CANDLES & DECORATIONS: Is that candle too close to the decoration sitting on your table? Fires caused by holiday decorations and open flames from candles are all too common this season. Battery-powered candles are a great alternative but if you must light up, keep candles away from pets and children, put the candle in a sturdy container and always blow out when you leave the room.

SMOKE ALARMS:  ”Tis the season – literally! Fatal fires are at their highest rate during the holidays. When seconds matter, a working smoke alarm is the gift of time in the event of a fire. An alarm on every level, tested monthly, and batteries replaced annually, is probably the best gift you can give your family this season. In addition, install working smoke alarms in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.

CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS: Unlike gingerbread, it’s odourless. Unlike your uncle’s ugly Christmas sweater, it’s invisible. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that can cause flu-like symptoms. A CO alarm alerts you to a potential CO emergency with four beeps and is the best way to protect your family from The Silent Killer.

TREE WATERING: Falling needles are your tree’s way of telling you it’s drying out and is a fire waiting to happen. Avoid being a statistic and water your tree daily. Be aware of heat sources near the tree including candles, space heaters, baseboard heaters and non-LED lights.

EXTENSION CORDS: Getting wound up in the holiday spirit? Don’t “overextend” your outlets! Extension cords are a temporary solution and if more outlets are required, have them installed by a licensed electrician. Fire and electric shock are not on anyone’s list this season – avoid overloading a circuit and never run extension cords under a rug.

KIDS IN THE KITCHEN: Holiday baking with children this holiday season? Make sure to keep an eye on those little bakers and remember to never leave the oven unattended. Safety first, cookies second!

HOME FIRE ESCAPE PLANNING: Santa needs one way out of your home – you need two. Give your family the gift of peace of mind with a home fire escape plan and have two ways out of a burning home to ensure your loved ones are prepared for the worst so you can focus on the best: festive cheer!

COOKING: Holidays are stressful enough but when 17% of fires in Ontario are cooking-related, it’s important to remember to slow things down in the kitchen. Fires caused by cooking mostly happen when the stove is left unattended so be mindful when cooking and never leave the kitchen while using a stove.

HEATING SOURCES: Staying warm this Winter Solstice means practicing fire safety. Space heaters, wood stoves and fireplaces are all great ideas until an accident happens. Keep at least one metre (3 feet) distance between your heat source and combustibles, like paper and fabrics.

SMOKING: Lit cigarettes are Ontario’s number one cause of fatal fires. This season, have all smoking done outside using deep, sturdy ashtrays. Never flick your butt – a lit butt might be the difference between a holiday to remember and a holiday you’ll never forget.

LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES: Receiving a new lithium-ion toy during the festive period can be exciting but it can also add potential risk to your home. Always monitor the toy or device when it is charging; read the manufacturer’s instructions for safe charging & do not exceed the recommended charging time.