Prevention is the key to avoiding holiday-time tragedy, says NBFD
As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season descends upon the Battlefords, the North Battleford Fire Department is reminding anyone putting up decorations to follow a few easy safety tips to avoid tragedies that are generally preventable.
“It’s very easy to forget a few simple safety rules when everyone is so busy, or out and about visiting friends and family,” commented NBFD Deputy Fire Chief Paul Perry. “Too often, we see fires, particularly around the holidays, caused by mishaps that can result in a significant loss of property, or worse, injury or a loss of life.”
NBFD has assembled a list of safety tips to help keep you and your family safe this holiday season.
- In an apartment building? Confirm if your building owner will allow real Christmas trees or if you are required to use an artificial tree.
- Ensure that artificial trees are made of flame-retardant materials and are CSA (Canadian Standards Association)-approved.
- If you have a live tree, it must be at least one meter away from heat sources or electrical outlets. One in four Christmas tree fires are because trees are situated too close to heat sources.
- Live trees should be “fresh” when purchased: no brittle needles or branches. If the tree is shedding needles easily when purchased, it is too dry and is a higher risk for fires.
- Allow for clearance space on top of your tree – if you have a tree topper, the top should be 30cm from your ceiling. If you don’t have a tree topper, clearance should be 15cm from your ceiling.
- Make sure your tree is not blocking a fire-escape route.
- Live tree holders need to be watered every day – the average 6 foot tree needs approximately four litres of water per day.
- Replace damaged and burned out light strands. Broken bulbs and exposed wires account for a significant number of fires each year.
- On average, there should be no more than three sets of Christmas lights plugged into a single extension cord as this can cause overheating. The best option is to use a power bar with a built-in breaker instead of plugging directly into a wall outlet. Overloaded wall sockets can also cause fires.
- Turn off your Christmas tree lights overnight so they do not overheat – even LED lights are at risk for overheating if left on for a long period of time.
The North Battleford Fire Department thanks the public for their attention to these matters and wishes all citizens a happy and safe holiday season.
For more information:
Candace Toma, Public & Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator
306-441-0713 | email@example.com