Holiday Fire Safety
Few things are as symbolic of the holidays as a fireplace, a Christmas tree and an abundance of glittering lights. Now is the perfect time to prepare your home for festive gatherings to ensure you enjoy a safe and happy holiday season with family and friends.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they’re in good working order.
- Inspect fire extinguishers to confirm they’re properly calibrated and easily accessible in an emergency.
- Inspect Christmas lights and cords before you use them, and check regularly to ensure they haven’t been damaged in the melee of holiday festivities.
- If you’re putting on an elaborate holiday light display, be careful to avoid electrical overload. Most household sockets are 15 or 20 amps and should be loaded to a maximum of 80% of their capacity, or 1200 and 1800 watts, respectively. Since LED lights consume less power, you can plug more of them into a single socket. While wattages vary based on lamp size, as a rule of thumb you can plug up to 100 regular incandescent lights, 500 mini lights, and 3010 LED lights into a single socket. Count carefully!
- Although it’s tempting to leave the Christmas tree lights on overnight, it’s important to never leave it unattended, just as with any other potential fire source.
- Ensure you have a certified chimney sweep service your fireplace before starting it up for the season. In addition to cleaning any debris that may have accumulated over the year, they will also inspect your fireplace for potential hazards such as cracks in the chimney walls.
- If you plan on using your fireplace a lot, have it serviced regularly as build up from condensed smoke can catch fire and quickly spread to the rest of the house.
- Keep the area around the fireplace clear of any flammable material, such as gift wrapping paper, alcohol, and furniture.
- Always use a fireplace guard - especially when hosting gatherings where guests may be consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Never leave a fire unattended – extinguish it completely before heading to bed and clear any leftover debris before you use the fireplace again.
- Canada Post
- National Fire Protection Association
The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice.