The year-end festive season is just around the corner and it’s a great time to get together with family and friends. To have a safe holiday season, be aware of fire hazards. Here are a few tips on Christmas lights and trees to avoid a home insurance claim during the holidays.
Christmas tree safety
1. Opt for an artificial fire resistant tree. Even though it costs more to purchase, an artificial tree is cost-effective over the long term, plus you get peace of mind since it’s safer.
But what if you just can’t do without that fresh, pine scent?
2. Choose a freshly cut tree with bright green needles. A moist tree will pose less of a fire hazard.
3. Place it in a stand that can hold 2 to 3 litres of water
4. Water it every day.
5. Set up the tree far away from heat sources, making sure that you do not block doors and windows, which may be needed as escape routes.
6. Make sure the tree has a secure base.
7. Remove the decorations and take the tree outside as soon as the holidays are over. Keep your tree indoors no longer than 10 to 14 days. It can start to dry out after spending that much time in a heated environment. Dry evergreens can rapidly burst into flames and constitute a significant risk of fire.
8. Until collection day, keep your dry tree outside, far from the garage or house.
9. Don’t burn the tree in your fire or wood stove: Deposits of creosote can accumulate in the chimney pipe, increasing the risk of fire.
Safe use of Christmas lights
Christmas lights are enchanting! Keep the magic going, all through the holidays, just by following a few safety tips:
10. Use CSA-certified light sets that are appropriate for the location. Some sets are specially designed for interior use and are not weather-resistant, while others are designed for the exterior and give off too much heat for indoor use.
11. Inspect the lights, extension cords and wires prior to each use. Change cracked bulbs and discard sets with frayed, broken or stripped wires.
12. Avoid plugging overlapping extension cords and wires into a same outlet. It could overload your electrical system. Opt instead for good quality extension cords – it’s worth it!
13. Don’t put any electric wires in doorways or under carpets.
14. Avoid using candles. If you use some, place them on a stable surface, away from drafts and air currents and away from anything that might catch fire, such as drapes.
15. Turn off your lights and blow out your candles before going out or retiring for the night.