It’s fire safety for all seasons! Some safety issues are only applicable at certain times of the year. For example Christmas tree lights aren’t a concern in July, and campfire safety isn’t a worry the middle of January – unless you like camping in the snow, or you live in a warm climate.
That’s why we’ve decided to categorize this safety information into seasonal sections. So now you can brush up on your Christmas fire safety skills ahead of time, or get the info you need for that famous family camping trip by reading the campfire safety information.
Be prepared for fire hazards in each of the 4 seasons Mother Nature has in store for us!
It’s time for a little spring cleaning!
Check your house for any stored papers, magazines, or any other combustible materials you don’t need. Pay special attention to the space around your furnace, hot water tank, fireplace, space heaters, and dryer. Keep the area under your stairs clear of combustible as well. The basement stairs are you exit out if there ever is a fire.
Did you finish raking your leaves last fall before the snow came? Well if you didn’t, now is the time to clean that up too. Check your yard for any woodpiles, branches, or papers that could prove tempting to someone wanting to light a fire.
Fire Up the “Q”
Mmm BBQ season is coming up. Make sure you clean your BBQ and check for leaks, breaks, and other wear & tear. Also make sure that you never store propane inside your house or garage. For more information check out our barbecue safety section.
Have you checked your smoke alarm?
You should check your smoke alarm once a month to make sure that it’s working properly. Just press the little test button -if it’s beeping, it’s working. If your smoke alarm is battery powered you need to replace the battery once a year. Hey let’s make that a part of your spring-cleaning routine too. A smoke alarm can save your life , all you have to do is keep it working properly.
STAY OFF THIN ICE AND ICE FLOWS
With the warmer weather comes the melting snow. The ice on your local rivers and lakes is also thawing and breaking up. You should never go out onto a river or lake when it’s frozen without your parents! NEVER go out on the ice at springtime, because you never know how thin the ice really is. Stay off! Stay safe!
It’s that time of year again. School’s out, the weather’s great, and you’re going to want to play outside all day! Well, maybe not all day…
The summer months are meant for good times out in the sun. Just be sure to wear sunscreen to avoid a painful sunburn.
Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids so that you don’t get dehydrated. Wear a hat and limit your time in the sun on those hot summer days to avoid getting heat stroke! Sure the summer is fun, but you still have to think safety.
The Grass is Growing
Do you have to cut the grass at your home? Where do you store the gasoline for your gas-powered lawnmower? If you said in an outside shed or in your garage (not attached to your house) then you’re correct! You should never store gasoline inside your house. Also make sure that the gasoline is in an approved container and not just stored in an old milk jug.
Do your parents smoke? Remind them that they should never smoke while refilling gas-powered equipment. Also you should never leave your gas- powered equipment running while you’re refueling.
Just running into the store?
Kids should NEVER be left in the car at any time, let alone during the summer. Even if it’s only going to be for a short time, the car will heat up a lot faster than you would think.
What if someone steals the car and the kids are inside? It only takes a moment for it to happen. It’s better to deal with the SMALL hassle of getting everyone out of the car, than the BIG troubles that could result if you don’t.
For the same reason, you should not leave your pet in the car either!
Back to the routine!
School is starting back up and you’ll be busy doing all kinds of new exciting things. Before you get too busy make sure that you check your house for fall fire hazards!
Look for any piles of newspapers, magazines, boxes or other combustible materials. You should remove these items from your house, garage, or yard to reduce the risk of fire.
What should I do with all this stuff?
Recycle any paper, newspaper, plastics, or boxes. That way you are not just being fire safe…you’re helping save the environment too!
Have you had your chimney cleaned and inspected?
Call a professional and get them to come out to check your fireplace/ woodstove and chimney. They should be cleaned and inspected at least once a year. Creosote builds up in a chimney as it’s used, and can lead to a dangerous chimney fire.
What about your furnace?
This is also a great time to get your furnace inspected. You should have your furnace cleaned and inspected once a year, to keep it running trouble-free all winter. Remember a faulty furnace can fill your home with carbon monoxide, and unless your carbon monoxide detector senses it, the silent killer may invade your home. Don’t be sorry. Have your furnace checked, and test your carbon monoxide detector regularly.
Safety Precautions for the Christmas Holiday Season
Deaths due to fire are higher than normal during the Christmas season. The cause of these fires is often related to Christmas trees, decorations, overloaded circuits or the improper use of the fireplace. To ensure you and your family have a safe and happy holiday, please follow these safety tips.
Your Christmas Tree
Ensure your Christmas tree is fresh – A freshly cut tree is less of a fire hazard. You can test for freshness by tapping the butt of the tree on the ground; if fresh, very few needles should fall off.
Ensure your tree stand is sufficient to support the tree – Use a tree stand with a large base for better balance and a large reservoir kept full of water so the tree won’t dry out. Before setting up the tree cut two inches off the butt, so the water can penetrate the tree more efficiently.
Never place the tree near a heat source – Heat sources include fireplaces, radiators, heating ducts, space heaters, etc.
Do not block doors or windows with the tree – They may be needed as escape routes.
Use only lights which are CSA approved – Remember to check for and discard frayed, broken and exposed wires. Do not use indoor lights outside (they lack weather proof connections) or outdoor lights inside (they may burn too hot).
Use caution with decorations – Use flame-retardant, noncombustible, nonconductive decorations. Never use lighted candles. Do not use metallic ornaments on a tree. If they come in contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.
Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree – A fault in the system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming in contact. (These trees can be illuminated by coloured floodlights placed at a safe distance from tree and out of reach of everyone.
Remember turn off all tree or display lights before leaving the house or going to bed.
Your Fire Place
Do not burn gift wrapping, boxes, cartons or other types of packing – They burn too rapidly and generate more heat than your fireplace can handle.
Don’t hang stockings on the fireplace mantel when the fireplace is in use.
Always have a screen in front of the fireplace – This protects against flying sparks.
Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
Clean ashes regularly – put them in a metal container and store outside away from flammable materials.
Do not use Christmas Trees for firewood.
Do not overload wall outlets – Insert plugs into outlets as poor contact may cause overheating or produce shock.
Use only cords which are CSA approved – Inspect all cords for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire; discard any defective cords. Do not run extension cords under carpets or coil or bunch them up, which may cause over heating.