The Penticton Fire Department is suggesting some safety guidelines for the Christmas season, a time when people are inadvertently exposed to a greater risk of fire or electrical accidents such as shock or electrocution.
These relate to common safety hazards associated with indoor and outdoor holiday decorations.
“Avoid a tragic festive time of year,” said Capt. Mike Richards of the Penticton Fire Department in a city news release Thursday. ” Enjoy a fire-safe holiday season by following simple safety precautions.”
Those precautions include:
• Carefully inspect each electrical decoration for cracked or frayed sockets bare wires, and loose connections that may cause a serious shock or start a fire. Follow the use and care instructions that accompany your electrical decorations.
• Stapling or nailing through electrical wires or extension cords may damage the wire or insulation, which could cause electrical shock or fire.
• Check the packaging to determine the maximum number of strings that may be linked together. Avoid overloading electrical outlets.
• Turn off electrical light strings, candles, and other decorations before leaving home or going to bed. Automatic timers are available for both indoor and outdoor applications.
• Waterproof all electrical connections, and keep them elevated so that water won’t drain into the connection and cause a shock or a short circuit.
• Use lights that are approved by an independent testing laboratory, such as Underwriters/CSA.
• Be sure chimney and fireplaces have been inspected and cleaned.
• Whenever possible, choose holiday decorations made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
• Inflatable outdoor ornaments can easily become dangerous projectiles. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for securing them. It is best to shut off the fan blowers when it’s windy when you are not going to be home for long periods or at bedtime.
• Have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, develop and Practice a Home Escape Plan.
For further information on holiday decorating and other fire and life safety issues, contact Richards at 250-490-2312 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.