The following video shows that “there’s no place like home for the holidays and no better place to implement good fire safety practices. Follow these simple steps to help ensure your holiday is memorable for all the right reasons.”

Please be sure to have a safe holiday season by following the “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” tips of the Toronto Fire Services to make holiday safety a high priority for you, your families and friends:

  • Day 1
    Water fresh trees daily. It’s time to trim that Christmas tree, and if you’re using a real tree, buy a fresh tree and keep the base of the trunk in water at all times. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters or candles.
  • Day 2
    Check all sets of lights before decorating. Before you put those lights on the tree or around the front window check the cords closely. Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged.
  • Day 3
    Make sure you have working smoke alarms. With family and friends spending extra time at your home over the holidays, it’s a great time to check your smoke alarms. Remember that you need working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test your alarms to make sure they will alert you and your family if a fire occurs, giving you the precious seconds you need to safely escape. Replace smoke alarms if they are over 10 years old.
  • Day 4
    Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odourless gas that can quickly kill you. Installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home will alert you to the presence of this deadly gas. Replace any carbon monoxide alarms over seven years old.
  • Day 5
    Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely if a fire occurs. Develop and practise a home fire escape plan with all members of the household and make sure someone helps young children, older adults or anyone else that may need assistance to evacuate. Once outside, stay outside and call 911 from a cell phone or neighbour’s house.
  • Day 6
    Use extension cords wisely. People often use extension cords for that extra set of lights. Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. Make sure cords never go under rugs as this can cause damage to the cord and cause a fire.
  • Day 7
    Give space heaters space. If you are using space heaters to help take the chill off, remember to keep them at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations.
  • Day 8
    When you go out, blow out! Candles can set the perfect mood for a holiday celebration, but remember to always blow out candles before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn, such as curtains, upholstery, or holiday decorations.
  • Day 9
    Keep matches and lighters out of the sight and reach of children. People often keep matches and lighters handy to light holiday candles. But matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children. If you smoke, have only one lighter or book of matches and keep them with you at all times.
  • Day 10
    Watch what you heat! The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, which means it’s easy to get distracted from what we are doing. Cooking fires most commonly occur when cooking is left unattended. Always stay in the kitchen when cooking – especially if using oil or high temperatures. If a pot catches fire, carefully slide a tight-fitting lid over the pot to smother the flames and then turn off the heat.
  • Day 11
    Encourage smokers to smoke outside. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires. If you do allow smoking indoors use large, deep ashtrays that can’t be knocked over and make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished.
  • Day 12
    There’s more to responsible drinking than taking a cab home. With all the festive cheer this time of year, keep a close eye on anyone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol is all too often a common factor in many fatal fires.

Please click here to learn more about these holiday fire safety tips and how to keep your family safe over the holidays.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

"12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety" Tips of Toronto Fire Services

"12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety" Tips of Toronto Fire Services

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

News Release

December 9, 2011

Staying safe from fire this holiday season

The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for frequency of home fires. The City of Toronto is urging residents to follow the “12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety” tips and make holiday safety a high priority.

Toronto Fire Services has compiled the 12 tips to help residents prevent the most common causes of home fires during the holiday season. Following the advice in the 12 tips will help to keep everyone safe from fire.

Day 1 – Water fresh trees daily.
Day 2 – Check all sets of lighting before decorating to ensure they are in good condition.
Day 3 – Make sure you have working smoke alarms.
Day 4 – Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms.
Day 5 – Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely if a fire occurs.
Day 6 – Use electrical extension cords wisely, following directions and common sense.
Day 7 – Give space heaters lots of room.
Day 8 – When you go out, blow out all candles.
Day 9 – Keep matches and lighters out of sight and away from the reach of children.
Day 10 – Watch what you heat. Stay in the kitchen when cooking.
Day 11 – Encourage smokers to smoke only outdoors.
Day 12 – Keep a close eye on anyone in your household who is consuming alcohol
while cooking or smoking.

A home fire during the holidays is particularly devastating. Toronto Fire Chief William Stewart is encouraging everyone to follow the 12 Days of Holiday Fire Safety tips.

“Get the whole family involved,” said Chief Stewart. “This holiday season, we want zero fatalities and zero injuries due to fire. To stay safe, you need to install smoke alarms on every storey of the home, as well as a carbon monoxide alarm, and test them regularly to make sure they work. Replace smoke alarms that are over 10 years old and carbon monoxide alarms over seven years old.”

To learn more about these holiday fire safety tips and how to keep your family safe over the holidays, visit http://www.toronto.ca/fire.

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