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Home for the Holidays? Heres a Safety Checklist

While the holiday season is considered the “most wonderful time of the year”, it’s also unfortunately a prime time for accidents and fires. According to Windsor Fire and Rescue Services the holiday season (between November and the end of January) is actually the highest point of the year for fires and fire-related deaths.

We consulted  some of Canada’s most trusted safety agencies  (including Health Canada and the Canada Safety Council ) to compile a master checklist to keep you and yours safe and sound. Some are obvious, some are a little bit odd, but all of them are important to keep in mind this holiday season.

General Safety:

We consulted Canada’s Restoration Services, Canada’s restoration experts about general holiday safety around the home. They service the major and surrounding cities in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton in mold, asbestos, water, fire and smoke damages, and disaster recovery.

The experts at Canada’s Restoration Services recommend that you make sure you stay safe this holiday season by following these tips:

-Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed. Check to see that each one works.
-If you’re going on vacation make sure you leave your heat on at a minimum to ensure your pipes don’t burst.
-Inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles and replace them to prevent water intrusion.
-Any leaks must be contained and dried out to prevent mold growth.
-Control indoor humidity to reduce mold growth.
-Clean out all the leaves from the eavestroughs to prevent water damages.
-Clean your air ducts to ensure clean air and reduce bacteria from circulating in your home.

Fireplace Safety

Alan Baroey, a WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) Certified Technician from Marsh’s Stoves and Fireplaces, suggests that you keep your fireplace safe with these tips:

-Start your holiday season with a clean chimney.
-Make sure you have your fireplace tools to tend the fire and also a non-combustible container with a tight-fitting lid to store the ashes.
-Always keep the glass doors open while burning and use a spark guard or fire screen to keep children and pets safe and also to prevent sparks from jumping out of the fireplace.
Before using your fireplace, check to see that the room has plenty of ventilation.
-Make sure the area around the fireplace is free of potentially flammable materials (think at least two feet).
-Remove ashes from your fireplace regularly.

Lights and Candle Safety

We talked to Jim from JTL and Son Limited, a Master Electrician who is licensed by the Electrical Contractor Registration Agency of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), about holiday safety and he provided these tips to keep you safe:

-Check to see that all holiday lights are Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved.
-Don’t use light strings that have burnt out, missing or cracked bulbs.
-Don’t use lights with frayed wires.
-Don’t overwhelm circuits.
-Don’t coil wires or run them under the carpet or rugs — this could cause potential overheating.
-Keep candles in places where they can’t be knocked over by children or pets.

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