Keep your home safe from fires during this holiday season
Canadian Red Cross volunteers respond to a disaster in Canada on average five times a day. The majority of these disasters are house fires. The holiday period is a particularly vulnerable time, as many Canadians have extra lights and candles burning on and around the Christmas tree. According to recent polling by the Red Cross
, 12 per cent of Canadians have personally experienced a fire-related disaster, yet two thirds of Canadians say they have not taken steps to prepare in the event of a disaster.
Despite these statistics, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire and protect your family in case a fire occurs.
No one wants to think of a fire breaking out in their home, but it can happen. Prevention is key. Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Never leave candles unattended.
- Talk to children about the dangers of fire and keep lighters and matches out of reach.
- Christmas trees can get very dry when inside and can catch fire easily. Make sure you water the tree regularly and use approved lights.
- The best way to protect yourself and your family in case of a fire is to be prepared by having an emergency plan and building or buying an emergency preparedness kit.
What to do if a fire occurs:
Follow your escape plan. Get out and stay out.
If smoke, heat or flames block your exit, stay in the room with the doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call 911. Open a window and wave a brightly coloured cloth or use a flashlight to signal for help.
For more information on cleaning up and what to do after a fire, download a guide to fire recovery.
Posted: December 13, 2012