‘Tis the season for fire safety.

With just over two weeks to go until Christmas day, the London Fire Department is out with a Top 10 list of “holiday safety tips” to ensure no one has to deal with a needless tragedy this time of year.

  • Water fresh trees daily and keep them away from flame or heat sources.
  • Install decorations well away from heat sources or any open flame.
  • Inspect lights for possible damage before decorating.  Don’t overload outlets.
  • Substitute real candles with battery operated ones.
  • Avoid distractions while cooking.  Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Encourage smokers to do so outside. Careless smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires.
  • Cooking and smoking while impaired can be deadly.
  • Hide lighters and matches from children.
  • Give space heaters the space they need, one meter on all sides and above.
  • Clear snow and ice from outside vents.

“Despite ever increasing efforts to prevent fires through education, December always brings with it added risk,” said Public Information Coordinator Rick Jefferson. “In light of that, it is critical that lives are protected by working smoke alarms on every storey of a home and adjacent to any sleeping area.”

In addition, officials are reminding homeowners that Ontario now requires working carbon monoxide alarms in any home with a fuel burning appliance or an attached garage.

If you don’t already have one, Jefferson also recommends families draw up an escape plan and practice it.

“Everyone should be aware of 2 ways out and a meeting place to gather outside. Remember, you may have just moments to safely escape from fire, especially if one should occur at night.”

Source: London Fire Department Releases Top 10 List of ‘Holiday Safety Tips’ | (CFPL AM) AM 980