4 tips to keep a safe home this holiday season
Charlottetown fire inspector Winston Bryan drops several tips for Islanders to stay safe this season
The Charlottetown Fire Department is reminding Islanders to stay safe this holiday season with several helpful tips.
Charlottetown fire inspector Winston Bryan says whether Islanders are leaving the house to conquer the cold, or just huddling around a warm hearth, there's a few safety measures to take.
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Here are some of Bryan's holiday tips:
1. Turn off the lights, blow out candles
"Always make sure, when exiting the home, or going out to visit friends and family, or going to bed at night, never leave the tree lights on," Bryan said.
"The nice smelling candles that we all use … we have a saying 'when you go out, blow it out,'" he added. "Make sure that you blow your candles out before you go out to visit friends or retire for the night."
2. Watering your real tree
Some families have real trees, some have fake trees.
For the real trees, Bryan said, "keep it watered get in the habit everyday before you go to work or when you get home."
Either real or fake, he added, try and use LED lights on the trees as they don't get as hot. Also, be sure to toss out damaged and frayed cords — and keep the pets away from the trees and cords too.
"The cats love to climb, there's many stories about that," Bryan said.
3. Clean out fireplaces, dispose of ashes correctly
Fireplaces should be cleaned out "as soon as you can."
But when you're cleaning out the fireplace, Bryan added, be sure to place the ashes in a metal container with a lid and add water.
"Please do not put them in a plastic bag or a compost bucket, and make sure they're away from the structure of your home," he said.
"We've had numerous fires in the last number of years by people disposing of the ashes, not just at Christmas time but throughout the year."
As long as you keep a low fire and dispose of the ashes correctly you shouldn't have to worry, Bryan added.
4. Have a working smoke alarm
"That is one of the most important tools that the fire service can stress to the residents of our Island here," Bryan said.
When having guests over this Christmas, Bryan said people should let guests know where all the exits are in the home and ensure that smoke alarms are in every sleeping room in the house.
"Make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home and make sure that they're on all levels," he said.
"Test them tonight when you go home."