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Winter Holiday Safety in Delta

Dec 15, 2016

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the Holiday Season; parties, dinners, gifts, concerts, and events tend make their way to the front of our priority lists. With that in mind, it's easy to neglect some really basic safety principles that can help get you and your family through the season smoothly and safely.

Christmas Trees

If you haven't set one up yet (and even if you have), there are some important things to note about Christmas Trees:

  • Plastic trees are usually the safer choice than the real ones.
  • If you're going to have a real tree, make sure it's fresh. If the needles fall off, it is usually an indicator that it is dead or dying. Also, real trees need to be watered once a day.
  • Real trees need to be recycled of as soon as the holidays are over, or once the needles start to fall. 
  • Keep trees away from busy areas of the home and clear of door ways.
  • Make sure it is sturdy and well-secured. Cut 2" from the base of the trunk before placing the tree on the stand.
  • Metal, sharp, or breakable ornaments should be kept away from young children.
  • Make sure that your tree is clear of any heating vent, stove, fireplace, radiator, or burning candles. It should be at least three feet from any heat source. 

Holiday Decorations

It's going to get cold, wet, and slippery when you go to put up your lights, wreaths, garlands, or whatever else you want to cover your home in to express your excitement. But don't let the weather put a damper on your safety smarts! 

  • Make sure your lights are certified by CSA, cUL, or cETL. If you're unsure, make sure you check the Healthy Canadians Recalls and Safety Alerts Database before buying or using lights.
  • Inspect any older lights for wear and tear. If you're unsure, perhaps it's time to get new ones. Upgrade to energy efficient LED lights!
  • Refrain from overloading your electrical outlets. If you're using a power bar or extension cord, check that it's CSA or UL approved. Also, make sure that the chords aren't run through doorways where someone might trip or under a carpet where it might overheat. 
  • Turn off all of your lights or put out any flame before you go to bed. 40% of all home decoration fires are started by candles!
  • Use the right lights — some bulbs or decorations are explicitly for indoor or outdoor usage. Check the package to indicate.

Fire Safety

'Tis the season to eat and be merry! Along with food preparation, there are more than a few instances where you'll need to be vigilant about fire safety in your home over the holidays.

  • Make sure all of your smoke detectors are working. If you haven't tested them in a while, now's the time! Also, there should be an alarm on every floor of your home.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy (ABC type recommended) and know how to use it. 
  • Unattended pots and pans on an active stovetop are dangerous, especially when cooking with oil. 

Crime Prevention

Gifts, money, trips, and shopping are a major part of the season. Which means you may find yourself vulnerable to criminals looking to take advantage of the excitement.

  • Logging in to online shop should only be done through the website, never through an emailed link.
  • If you're unsure about a business' online security, see if they have any complaints against the through the Better Business Bureau.
  • Be wary of your cards, purses, wallets, or any other personal items when you're shopping in crowded malls or stores.
  • Store purchases in the trunk if you must keep them in your car — keep them out of the eyesight of potential thieves.
  • If you can see the tree from a window, perhaps wait until the night before to put your gifts under it.
  • If you're making travel plans for the holidays, ensure a friend or neighbour visits your home to check on things.
  • Have newspapers and mail brought inside.
  • Be mindful of posting about your trip on social media.

Check out our winter preparedness tips for more information about managing the colder months and be sure to contact Operation Red Nose to ensure that you get home safely after a night of festivities.

Keep these helpful tips in mind and you can give you and your family positive holiday memories.