As the weather gets colder during December, families start to prepare for the holidays by decorating their homes. But, during this time it’s been noted by Fire Prevention Canada that the number of reported home accidents increases significantly. So to help keep your family safe and prevent any accidents from happening this holiday season, be sure to follow these holiday safety tips!

Eliminating the Risk of Fire Hazards

Fires are one of the most common accidents that are reported by Fire Prevention Canada during the holiday season. To keep your traditions festive and problem-free, it’s important to know how to prevent fire mishaps from happening!

  • Candles

Lighting candles are a great way to add some holiday cheer to a room, but before you start to use them, make sure that you’re doing so safely. This includes checking the candles surroundings and making sure that you’re not leaving them unattended.

When checking the surroundings of your candles, it’s essential that you look for any loose fabrics, papers or other easily ignitable items that could be around. These materials often pose the risk of igniting if it comes too close or makes contact with the open flame. It’s suggested that if you see these types of items around your candle, you should move it to another area right away.

Whenever you light candles in your home, it’s critical that you never leave them unattended as this is one of the most common causes of candle fires. An unattended candle poses the risk of being knocked over or coming in contact with an easily ignitable material without your knowledge. So before you leave the room or go to bed, it’s essential that you blowout any lit candles, or you monitor them to ensure that if the flame does spread, you can extinguish it.

  • Christmas Trees

Christmas trees are a popular decoration that families use during the holidays and while they’re beautiful, they can also become a fire hazard if they’re not maintained. To keep your family safe and fire-free this holiday season it’s important that you keep your Christmas tree hydrated.

When pine trees become dehydrated, their needles become dry, brittle and ultimately more flammable. Meaning that they’re likely to burn if they come in contact with something hot such as a lightbulb, live wires or a flame. So, to ensure its hydration throughout the holidays, water your tree daily. This doesn’t only help to keep your tree from becoming dry and flammable, but it also helps to keep it looking it’s best throughout the holiday season!

  • Lighting

Part of decorating for the holiday season means putting lights on your Christmas tree or around your property. But before you begin to hang them, it’s important to check the condition and certification of your lights to ensure that there are no electrical failures!

The condition of holiday lights are essential when decorating your home and every year you should examine them and any extension cords that you’ll be using. While inspecting their conditions, if they appear to be frayed or have exposed wires, they should be thrown out. This is because the poor condition can allow live wires to be exposed and potentially cause electrical fires.

While examining the lights, it’s also important to pay attention to the type of lighting you’re using and that they’re certified. Specifically, whether they’re made for indoor or outdoor use as you’re able to use outdoor lighting indoors, but not the opposite as indoor lights are not made to hold up against the elements. During your examination, it’s a good idea to look for certification marks such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). These certifications show that an accredited organization has approved and tested them for safe use which ultimately lowers the risk of any problems occurring.

Preparing Your Home

During all of the excitement of the holiday season, many may forget that you need to prepare your home to be safe during these times as well. Whether it’s checking your alarms, decorating with safety in mind, or preventing burglary, doing it all cautiously ensures a stress-free time!

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Before the holiday season begins, it’s a good time to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home. With all of the commotion that could be going on such as holiday parties, cooking, baking or decorating, it’s important that these are fully operational in case something malfunctions or catches fire.

  • Decorating with Safety in Mind

Decorating for the holiday season can be a tedious job, but the finished product is well worth it. Before you begin to hang the tinsel, it’s important to think about your family or friends who may be visiting. If you have pets or small children living or coming to your home, you should decorate to ensure their safety. Specifically making sure that anything that can be knocked over or is hazardous when within their reach is blocked off or placed out of their way. This applies to low hanging lights and extension cords, decorations or even the tree itself.

Apart from focusing on smaller children or pets when decorating, you should also ensure that you’re not putting any decorations that are flammable near any open flames or lights. Putting these on display near something that can cause the decorations to burn and possibly ignite pose an additional fire risk to your home.

  • Preventing Home Burglary

Home burglary rates increase during the holidays as many families go away on vacation, are traveling to visit family or have valuables on display in the home. While it’s always important to pay attention to the security of your home, it’s even more important to do so during the holidays as burglars know many people are away. Ensuring that you’re regularly locking doors and windows, setting alarms and making sure that valuables are out of sight are just a few tips from our previous Home Security Blog that can be used during any time of the year!

The holidays should be a time that’s filled with joy and cheer rather than with accidents! While you’re celebrating, make sure to keep these tips in mind to have a safe and happy holiday!