Kingston Fire & Rescue offers the following fire safety guidelines for a fire safe holiday season. While many seasonal risks increase during cold weather, most fires can be prevented.
* In the last week in Ontario, cooking related fires claimed the lives of three persons and seriously injured two more. For the entire month of December last year, ten people died in fires in the province. This December, there have already been 11 fatalities. Unattended cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Keep combustibles clear of the stove and have a proper fitting lid nearby. If a pot catches fire, slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove.
* There is a direct relationship between alcohol use and fires involving smokers’ materials and cooking. The message is to celebrate wisely!
* Candle fires increase during the holiday season. Use sturdy candle holders located away from combustibles, such as decorations, Christmas trees, wreaths, and curtains. Never leave burning candles in a room unattended.
* Christmas trees should not be located near heat sources such as heaters, televisions, fireplaces, heating ducts or sunny windows. It is essential to refill the water supply every day for live Christmas trees. If you use an artificial tree, make sure that it is flame retardant. Christmas trees and decorations should never obstruct exit doors.
* Always use the proper decorative light sets – use indoor sets inside, and outdoor sets outside. Discard any damaged cords and light sets. Do not coil an extension cord when in use and never cover it with a carpet or rug. Turn off all tree and display lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
* Professionally inspect and clean all wood heat systems before use. Place ashes in a metal container stored outside of the house and garage. Wrapping paper, boxes, and Christmas trees should never be burned in appliances or fireplaces, due to the intensity at which they burn.
* Fire safety gift ideas include additional smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, ABC multi-purpose fire extinguishers, and flashlights with batteries. Practicing fire safety and escape planning greatly increases your chances of survival in the event of a fire. Fire and Rescue staff are available to answer your questions each and every day!