Loading articles...

Fire Safety Tips For The Holidays

It’s a festive time of year – that comes with a sobering statistic.

“From November 1, 2008 to January 1, 2009, 29 lives were lost through fire-related deaths,” explained Minister of Community Safety Rick Bartolucci.

From candles to Christmas lights, Menorahs to meals, fire safety is a big issue for the holidays.

Meralla Fernandez talked to the experts. Check out her tips in the video below. 

Toronto Fire Safety Tips

Install and maintain smoke alarms

  • Smoke alarms warn you of a fire in time to let you escape.
  • Install smoke alarms on each level of your home, especially near each sleeping area.
  • Test smoke alarms regularly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace weak or dead batteries immediately with new ones.
  • Remember, if your smoke alarms are hardwired they will not function during a power failure – consider installing a backup battery powered smoke alarm as an additional asset to your home.

Plan and practice your escape

  • Prepare and practice a fire escape plan with every member of your household.
  • Look for two ways out of each room.
  • Arrange an outside meeting place and a safe location to call 9-1-1.
  • If you live in a multi-storey building, in the event of fire, don’t use elevators.

Space heaters need space

  • Keep portable and space heaters at least 1 metre (3 feet) from anything that can burn.
  • Never leave heaters on when you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Keep children well away from heaters.

Smoking is hazardous

  • Set up a designated smoking area outside with large, deep ashtrays, and soak the butts with water before dumping them in the trash.
  • Ask smokers to take it outside to reduce the risk of indoor fires and protect people from being exposed to harmful second-hand smoke.
  • Smokers need watchers. Before going to sleep, check under and around sofa cushions and upholstered furniture for smouldering cigarettes.

Be careful when cooking

  • Be alert when you cook, and keep children out of the way.
  • Don’t wear loose fitting clothing and be careful not to reach over hot burners.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • If a pot catches fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames and turn off the burner.
  • Keep pot handles turned inward.

Matches and lighters are for adults

  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Teach children that matches and lighters are only for adults.

Use electricity safely

  • If an appliance smokes or smells like it is burning, unplug it immediately and have it repaired.
  • Check all of your electrical cords and replace any that are cracked or frayed.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under rugs or carpets.
  • Don’t tamper with the fuse boxes or use fuses of improper size.

Stop, drop and roll

  • If your clothes catch fire, don’t run.
  • Stop where you are
  • Drop gently to the ground
  • Cover your face with your hands to protect your face and lungs
  • Roll over and over until to the flames are smothered.

Crawl low under smoke

  • If you get caught in smoke, the cleanest air will be near the floor.
  • Get down on your hands and knees and crawl to the nearest safe exit.

Power failures

  • When power fails don’t use open flames or a charcoal grill indoors.
  • Don’t use gas-fuelled appliances as alternative heating sources indoors.
  • If you plan to use a portable generator, don’t connect household items to the generator unless you have it wired professionally – don’t hook the generator up to your home’s electrical system.
  • Be sure the generator is kept outside where exhaust doesn’t enter buildings.
  • Test your smoke alarms now – remember, if they’re hardwired they won’t function during a power failure – install backup battery-powered smoke alarms for additional protection.