Stay safe over the holidays

By Tyler J. Moffitt
The Safety Advocate

The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for house fires.
I honestly can say that all fire and rescue services in Rainy River District are urging all residents to practice the following holiday fire safety tips and make holiday safety a priority this year.
Following these tips will help to keep everyone in the community safe from fire:
•Water fresh trees daily.
•Check all sets of lighting before decorating to ensure they are in good condition.
•Make sure you have working smoke alarms.
•Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms.
•Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely if a fire occurs.
•Use extension cords wisely.
•Give space heaters space.
•When you go out, blow out all candles.
•Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children.
•Watch what you heat! Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
•Encourage smokers to smoke outside.
•Keep a close eye on anyone in your household who consumes alcohol while cooking or smoking.
A house fire during the holidays is particularly devastating, and that is why all of the firefighters in Rainy River District are asking everyone to follow the above holiday fire safety tips.
It is extremely important to install working smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside the bedrooms.
If you don’t have these life-saving devices, make them an “open early” gift of safety to your family.
A carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home also is an important device to have.
Remember to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms regularly to make sure they work.
Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old and carbon monoxide alarms over seven years old.
Safety—we can all make a difference!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a part-time firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.

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Stay safe over the holidays

The holiday season should be a joyous time but, unfortunately, there are people who can create misery and dangers that can claim lives.
Crime Stoppers has a number of suggestions for keeping things safe.
Always give your home a lived-in appearance. Leave lights on when going out at night or on a timer if away for a few days.
Have a neighbour collect your mail, newspapers, or flyers, and not allow anything to alert burglars that you are not home.
Advise elderly family members about the possibility scam artists may try to victimize them by seeking donations for phony charities or offering to make repairs to their home.
Let them know they shouldn’t sign anything or donate cash without getting a second opinion.
When shopping, make sure you protect your wallet or purse from thieves—and make sure an innocent-looking store clerk or gas bar attendant doesn’t illegally record information from your credit card.
Lock parcels in your trunk and keep valuables out of sight when leaving your vehicle in parking lots.
Before going out, make sure all windows and doors are locked and leave a radio on, as well as setting your alarm system.
It’s also important to mark all valuable items with an engraving instrument and also photograph them so they can be identified if stolen.
Never drink and drive. It’s not just a crime, it also could cost a life.
Over Christmas and New Year’s, people will be attending house parties and other functions, so before starting out, make sure there’s a designated driver who won’t consume any alcohol or arrange for a taxi.
Make sure you also are safe at home during the holidays. Use only approved ornaments and decorative lights, don’t overload electrical circuits, ensure power cords are in good condition, and unplug indoor lighting displays when going to bed.
Also extinguish candles and logs in the fireplace before retiring.
It’s important to ensure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition, as well as having professional maintenance people inspect heating equipment and venting systems to protect your family from danger.
As well, make a personal check of your property to ensure propane tanks and gasoline containers are stored properly, and anything flammable is removed from your basement or garage.