Nine ways to avoid burning down your house during the holidays

Nothing dampens the holiday spirit like losing all of your prized possessions—and maybe even a loved one—in a fire.

Luckily, you can take steps to prevent a tragedy from happening in your home.

Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services sent out these nine tips for a safe holiday season:

  1. If you have a fresh cut Christmas tree make sure to water it regularly to help retain its moisture.
  2. Be cautious on a ladder when installing and removing your Christmas lights. Prior to installing, inspect your lights for excessive wear. If you have any doubt about the age and safety of your strand of lights, it’s probably time to get new ones. Be power smart and purchase energy efficient LED lights.
  3. Use only CSA and UL tested extension cords and power bars for all your electrical needs.
  4. A kitchen fire will ruin your Christmas! Never leave a pot unattended on the stove and be extremely cautious when cooking with oil.
  5. Keep all flammable items at least 3 feet from your space heaters. Ensure your heaters are CSA or UL approved.
  6. Keep candles away from combustible materials and never use lighted candles on or near a Christmas tree. Blow candles out before leaving your home or going to bed.
  7. Smoke alarms save lives! Press the test button on your smoke alarm once a month to ensure it is working. If it has a battery, change it once a year. If your smoke alarm is more than ten years old, it’s time to change it.
  8. Remember, smoke from a fire can hurt or kill you long before the flames ever get near you. Protect yourself and your family by sleeping with your bedroom door closed!
  9. Have and learn how to use a fire extinguisher. We recommend an ABC type extinguisher.

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Comments (2) Add New Comment
xine
10. Have house/condo/renters insurance. It doesn't cost that much.
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DavidH
Just two quibbles:

- LED lights are not even remotely close to the brightness of regular lights. To achieve the same level of brightness, you will need three or four times the number of bulbs. The "energy efficiency" is debatable.

- The CSA and UL logos are important if the product is made in Canada or the US. But inferior products made elsewhere also carry the CSA/UL stamps - which are usually fake. Buy your electrical products in a reputable store.
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