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Fire Safety During the Festive Season Header Image

Fire Safety During the Festive Season

Three Areas of Focus

As we prepare for the upcoming holiday season, and throughout the year, it is important to take steps to ensure your family is safe from potential fires and other dangers in your home. The best way to be prepared is to have a plan in place!

  • Make sure everyone in your family knows the best escape routes for your home.
  • Have a set meeting place near your home, where everyone will gather after evacuating.
  • Schedule a test of your smoke detectors every month. Schedule a battery change for them twice a year. A good time is spring and fall, when the time changes.
  • Ensure you have a smoke detector in or near every bedroom, and that there is at least one on every floor of your home, including the basement.
  • If you use a space heater, be sure you place it at least one metre from any other object that might catch fire.
  • If you use a real Christmas tree, schedule regular watering times to prevent it from getting too dry and becoming a fire hazard.
  • Unplug tree lights before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets or extension cords by inserting too many plugs at one time.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Schedule annual inspections of your heating systems and appliances, and be sure to do regular maintenance on them.
  • If you smoke, never smoke in bed!

As you prepare your holiday meals during the festive season, make sure an unwanted fire in the kitchen doesn’t ruin your special day! Take these precautions to keep everyone safe:

  • Pay close attention to what you have cooking in the oven or on the stove.
  • Keep pot handles turned inwards toward the stove. This will prevent you from accidentally bumping the handles as you walk by. It will also prevent children from pulling down on the handles, tipping the pot over and spilling the hot contents.
  • Keep a pot lid and an oven mitt close to the stove.
  • If you experience a small pan fire on the top of the stove, put on the oven mitt, grab the lid and use it to smother the fire. Once the lid is in place, be sure to turn the stove element to off. Do not move the pan to another location – you might spill the contents onto your clothes or the hot element.
  • If a fire starts inside the oven, leave the door closed and turn off the oven. Do not open the door – this will add air to the fire and the fire will grow.
  • Keep flammable objects away from the stove so they don’t catch on fire – these include tea towels, aprons and paper decorations.
  • If your clothes do catch on fire, remember to stop, drop and roll to put out the flames.

Candles are an important part of many winter festivals. Follow these tips to use candles safely:

  • When in use, keep matches and lighters away from kids.
  • Store matches and lighters where they won’t be found by curious children.
  • Do not place lit candles in locations that are easily reached by children.
  • Do not place candles in a location where they might be knocked over by children, pets or adults as they pass by.
  • Extinguish candles when leaving the room, leaving home or going to sleep.
  • Do not place lit candles near flammable objects such as toys, clothes, books, paper decorations or trees.
  • Do not place candles near windows, where the candles might be blown over, or where curtains or blinds might catch fire.

For more information

Visit the Home Fire Safety page

Last edited: December 13, 2018

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