COQUITLAM, B.C., Dec. 6, 2021 – With people getting ready for the holiday season and colder, longer evenings, Coquitlam Fire/Rescue is reminding residents to stay safe.
Coquitlam Fire/Rescue wishes everyone a happy holiday season and offers the following tips to protect your family and home:
- Use approved light sets only, do not overload circuits, check all light sets prior to use, discarding any that are frayed or damaged and use proper clips (not staples) to install outdoors.
- Always turn off lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- If using a fresh cut tree, select one with needles that are difficult to pull off the branches, make a fresh cut off the bottom, immerse the trunk in water (replenishing daily) and place it at least 1m away from heat sources. If your tree is artificial, be sure that it is fire retardant.
- Candles may be pretty to look at but their open flame can easily ignite anything - choose battery-operated 'flameless' candles as a great alternative.
- Do not leave your cooking unattended. During the holiday season, cooking brings family and friends together, it provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries? Stay in the kitchen and pay attention while cooking!
- Ensure all home heating appliances, like furnaces, gas fireplaces, chimneys, space heaters, etc., are in good working condition. Remember to place portable devices at least 1m away from flammable materials.
- Install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location of your home as per manufacturer's instructions. Called the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an invisible, odourless, colourless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely in the home. The carbon monoxide that builds up inside the home can cause serious illness or be fatal.
- Be sure there is a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and that all family members can recognize its sound - smoke alarms save lives. And they make great Christmas gifts, too!
- Ensure your family has an emergency escape plan that includes the correct routes to get out of your house in case there is a fire, and know and practice at least two ways out of every room, if possible.
For more information visit www.coquitlam.ca/seasonalsafety.
Assistant Fire Prevention Chief