Play it safe at home for holidays
Following are tips from the Canada Safety Council for the holidays:
• If you’re getting a live tree, check for freshness by tapping it on the ground. Dropping needles indicate a dry, highly flammable tree, so look for a fresher tree instead. Needles should be hard to pull from branches and shouldn’t break when bent between your fingers.
• Place your live tree away from fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and radiators. Also, indoor heat dries out fresh trees, so be sure to replenish the tree-stand with water every day.
• If buying an artificial tree, make sure it has a label indicating that it is fire resistant. Although this does not mean the tree won’t catch fire, the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly.
• Use CSA-approved lights, using only indoor lights inside your home and only outdoor lights outside.
• New or old, check light strings for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections — and throw out damaged sets. Make sure you do this inspection before putting lights up. It is much easier and safer to replace bulbs or entire strands of lights on the ground than on the roof.
• Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave home as they could short out and start a fire.
• Don’t overload electrical sockets, and never string more than three sets of lights per single extension cord.
• Keep candles away from drapes, trees or any other potentially flammable objects. Make sure they are placed on a steady surface.
• Never leave burning candles unattended, and always keep out of reach of children.