What Can I Do to Ensure a Safe Fire-Free Christmas Season?

November 5th, 2019 | by Vancouver Fire | in Safety Plans and Training |    0   comments

No one ever wants to have a disaster at any time, but having a disaster like a fire over Christmas has to be the worst.

Christmas is when family and friends gather to count their blessings and enjoy each other’s company.

Here’s our advice in 2019 for ensuring a safe and fire-free Christmas season.

1. Live Christmas trees dry out easily and become highly flammable. If you want a real tree, please keep it thoroughly watered, and don’t let your smoking guests hang out near it.

2. If you want a live Christmas tree, choose one that’s very fresh and not already dried out.

3. When hanging Christmas lights on a tree, don’t use any lights that look old, worn out, or have any cracked wires.

4. Don’t daisy-chain 57 extension cords. That’s an accident waiting to happen. Use only one extension cord per plug-in. Cords may have different ratings for voltage and using several extension cords reduces the wattage for all of them.

Furthermore, extension cords degrade quickly. If you’re going to use them, buy good ones. And make sure they are not a slip, trip, or fall hazard, either.

5. Don’t hang Christmas stockings from a mantel if the fireplace is in use.

6. Don’t hang lots of decorations on windows and in doorways. In case of a fire, you may need access through those windows and doors in a hurry, and you don’t need a six-foot Santa blocking the way.

7. In your home (and office), have a fire drill, and make sure family members know not just how to get out in case of fire, but also where to meet once outside.

8. If you suspect a fire, aside from burning your onions in the frying pan, called 9-1-1 and let professional firefighters take over. If possible, get your kids and pets out of the house, and call for help from the outside.

Suggestions from the experts:

Chief Mike Williamson from the Cumberland, BC, Fire Department said this:

“Real Christmas trees are a danger, but if you use them, don’t put them in the house too early, keep them in water while in the house, and be careful where you put them. For example, trees need to be clear from baseboard or heat vents because they dry them out. Also, use small lights on the tree, and don’t just leave them on 24 hours per day.”

Retired Battalion Chief, John Quevedo, from the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) had this advice:

“Most people don’t realize that if a live Christmas tree catches on fire, it will be so fast that the tree literally explodes, and the whole room can be engulfed in flames in three or four minutes. So, take every precaution before setting up your tree.

“The plastic that most of us use in our daily lives creates a terrible black and poisonous smoke. Never store plastic bags near the stove. Never store butane lighters near any heat source (like a stove). And please be sure to have your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors in place and in good running order before the holidays. They save lives.”

Fire Safety Plans are our business. Please get in touch with us if you need some help with yours before the Christmas season.

Vanfire is Vancouver’s largest and best known fire protection, fire safety, and security monitoring company serving all areas from Whistler to Hope, BC. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about fire safety, please call us at (604) 232-3473 or use the convenient form on our Contact page.

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