The holidays are such a wonderful time where people are busy enjoying themselves and are preoccupied with the festivities of the season. It is also a time when simple holiday festivities and distractions can lead to disaster with property and lives lost.
Slow down, take some time to consider simple precautions. My mother always said that an ounce of prevention is with a pound of cure.
Holiday Season Prevention
Check your fireplace. Have it professionally cleaned EVERY year to prevent creosote buildup that can cause a flash fire in the chimney. Propane fireplaces should be serviced yearly checking the pilot light, lines and tanks. A good cleaning of the glass front is good too.
Baby it’s cold outside! This is the time when thoughts turn to electric blankets, and space heaters. Remember - keep them away from flammable materials; follow all instructions and do not leave them alone. Kids plus pets plus space heaters equal potential problems!
It gets dark earlier and nothing is more calming than a candlelight supper or a living room adorned in candles. Keep in mind that children and pets should not be allowed near candles. Keep matches lighters out of reach. Don’t ever fall asleep with candles burning. If you are not 100 percent sure this won’t happen then invest in good quality wax battery operated candles on timers.
Live Christmas trees are splendid however they do require maintenance. Check trees daily for water. Brown needs or needles that easily break off are a sign the tree is dried out enough to be potentially a fire hazard. Remember that even lights on a dried tree are a fire hazard.
Always inspect your tree lights yearly. Turn them on only when you are around and ALWAYS turn off the tree before going to bed at night.
Check your smoke detectors annually. Mark your calendar bi yearly to replace batteries if they are not hard wired into your electrical system. Make sure you have a smoke detector outside EVERY sleeping area and inside each bedroom. Smoke kills! Most fatal home fires occur at night, while people are asleep. Poisonous gases and smoke from a fire can numb the senses in a very short time leaving you totally unaware that there is even a fire in your home. It’s a fact that death in a house fire is usually the result of the smoke, not the flames. Every home needs a device that can wake people up in time to escape from a fire. Of all the low-cost fire alarm devices you can buy, the Fire Service considers smoke detectors to be the most effective. 1
The HRM is considering implementing fines for properties that do not have working smoke detectors. What do you think? 60% of fires in HRM had no working smoke detectors. We think it might just be a good idea!
Have a escape plan, practice it yearly with your family and teach all members of the family how to dial 911. Teach your children to Stop Drop and Roll.
Relax and enjoy the season however be aware of the season’s hazards and prepare accordingly.
Everyone at Assist 2 Sell wishes you and your family a happy and safe holiday season.
1. HALIFAX PROFESSIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION – IAFF LOCAL 268