Winnipeggers are reminded to be safe when using holiday lights and decorations in and around the home this holiday season.
All throughout Canada at this time of the year, the incidence of fires and fire-related losses involving candles, home heating equipment and electrical sources increases significantly compared to the rest of the year.
- Always use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved holiday lights and check the bulbs, sockets, wires and plugs to make sure nothing is cracked, broken or exposed. Replace any missing bulbs and be cautious to never bypass a fuse.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. More specifically, do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions say it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Also periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
- Do not use lights on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact.
- If your tree shows signs of dryness, such as excessive needle loss, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out and is a fire hazard.
- Turn off all interior and exterior Christmas lights before going to sleep and whenever you are leaving home.
- Use only non-flammable decorations. All decorations should be non-flammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents and fireplaces.
- Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace; it can create toxic fumes, throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical build-up in the home that could cause an explosion.
Stay safe this holiday season!