12 tips to stay fire safe in Brampton this holiday season

Published December 16, 2022 at 11:12 am

It’s easy to get distracted this time of year, so Brampton Fire and Emergency Services are reminding residents to be safe this holiday season with the 12 Days of Fire Safety campaign.

“Fire can happen anywhere, at any time, it most often strikes when we let our guard down – when we’re distracted by the hustle and bustle of the holidays, by our cellphones, by the kids or by the doorbell,” BFES said in a release.

Here are the BFES 12 Days of Fire Safety tips to help you stay safe and avoid fires during the holidays:

Day 1: Christmas Trees

Tina Hickey with BFES says to make sure your tree has plenty of water and is kept away from fireplaces, heaters and candles, and to check the tree daily.

  • Cut your own tree or buy a fresh one that is not shedding needles.
  • Place your tree in a sturdy, non-tip stand well away from fireplaces, exits, and heat sources.

Day 2: Decorative Lights 

Turn off and unplug all lights and decorations before leaving the home or going to bed.

  • Check all sets of lights before decorating. Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to be connected.
  • Lights, cords and decorations are rated for either INDOOR or OUTDOOR use. Never use indoor rated items outdoors!
  • Keep all decorations at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from heating equipment or an open flame (candle, fireplace, portable heater etc.).

Day 3: Smoke Alarms

Install working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas.

  • Consider installing a smoke alarm inside the bedroom.
  • Test smoke alarms during the holidays and every month
  • Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years old or older
  • Replace batteries if needed.

Day 4: Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Install working CO alarms beside ALL sleeping areas.

  • Test CO alarms during the holidays and every month.
  • Replace CO alarms according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Replace batteries if needed.

Day 5: Home Escape Plans 

Create an escape plan with your family to ensure you’re prepared in case of an emergency.

  • Have two ways out of every room if possible.
  • Go over the plan with everyone in your home. Identify people who may need help.
  • Have a plan that includes a meeting place outside in front of your home.​
  • Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 immediately.

Day 6: Electrical Cords/Outlets 

Don’t overload electrical outlets.

  • Replace frayed, cracked, nicked or damaged electrical cords.
  • Avoid running extension cords under carpets, across doorways or near heaters.
  • Never link multiple extension cords and/or power bars together.
  • Use an extension cord or power bar long enough for the job.
  • Extension cords and power bars are for temporary use only.
  • Never replace permanent wiring with an extension cord.

Day 7: Portable Heaters 

Unplug portable heaters when you leave the room or go to bed.

  • Keep portable heaters at least 1 metre (3 Feet) away from anything that can burn.

Day 8: Candles 

Before leaving the room or going to bed, blow out candles.

  • Candles need adult supervision.
  • Use sturdy, safe candle holders.
  • Keep candles at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from anything that can burn.
  • Keep pets and children away from candles.

Day 9: Matches

Keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children.

  • Place matches and lighters in a high, preferably locked, cabinet.

Day 10: Cooking

Brampton Fire and Emergency Services says cooking is the number one cause of home fires. Stay in the kitchen while cooking, and if you must leave, turn off the stove.

  • To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. Avoid cooking when tired or when consuming alcohol, drugs or medicine that makes you drowsy.
  • Keep anything that burns—oven mitts, cooking utensils, dish cloths, paper towels and pot holders— a safe distance from the stove.
  • Wear short sleeves or roll up your sleeves while cooking.

Day 11: Smokers’ Materials 

Smoking is the leading cause of fatal fires.

  • Avoid smoking when drowsy or under the influence of alcohol, as it is a factor in many smoking-related fires.
  • Use large, deep ashtrays that cannot be knocked over.
  • Encourage smokers to smoke outside.
  • Do not carelessly toss cigarette butts off balconies.
  • Do not extinguish cigarettes in plant pots, which may contain a mixture of peat moss, shredded wood and bark that can easily ignite.
  • ​Never smoke in bed.
  • Before you dispose of butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Put them in water or sand.
  • Empty ashes into a metal container – not the garbage can – and put it outside.

Day 12: Be Responsible ​

Use alcohol and recreational drugs responsibly. Do not cook, smoke or drive while under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs.

For more information on holiday fire safety visit www.Brampton.ca.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising