Monday, December 10, 2007

AVOID FIRE RISKS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY

About one quarter of all fires in December are typically related to holiday activities, but British Columbians can ensure a safe, festive season by following a few simple tips.

In December 2006, of the 238 fires recorded by the Office of the Fire Commissioner, 19 were caused by candles, 30 attributed to cooking and two blazes originated with Christmas trees. Some of these fires caused injuries while total property loss was almost $2 million.

Life-saving steps to help enjoy a fire safe holiday season include:

CANDLE SAFETY

Never leave lit candles unattended and keep them away from combustible materials.

Decorate with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.

Keep Christmas trees, wrapping and decorations away from heat sources.

Keep your real Christmas tree fresh by watering it often, or consider a fire resistant artificial tree as an alternative.

Always turn tree lights off before leaving home or going to sleep.

Use lights that have been tested and labelled by an approved testing laboratory.

Don’t overload electrical circuits or extension cords.

COOKING SAFETY

A stovetop fire can start in a flash. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.

Keep a lid nearby to smother flames if a fire starts in a pot.

All combustible items should be kept a safe distance away from the stove, including tea towels, wooden or plastic spoons and paper towels.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner also recommends each home have working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan in place. For more fire safety information, please visit www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/firecom/index.htm.


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