According to the National Fire Protection Association, one in three fire deaths occurs between November and January. (Michael Henderson/Wikimedia Commons)

Saanich firefighter offers holiday safety tips

One in three fire deaths in Canada occurs between November and January

Winter may be the time for holiday cheer, but it’s also when a large number of fatal fires occur.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, one in three fire deaths in Canada occurs between November and January. Lt. Insp. Sean Lillis of the Saanich Fire Department attributed this to people being more preoccupied during the holidays.

People let their guards down, he explained. They forget about pots on the stove, candles near decorations or cigarettes near furniture.

Lillis emphasized that kitchen fires are common, especially during the holidays. He recommended that chefs, both professional and amateur, turn off the stove or appoint someone else to keep an eye on things before leaving the room.

Trees can also be cause for concern over the holidays as 25 per cent of winter fires start with a Christmas tree and a heat source. Trees should always be kept at least three feet away from all heat sources because they can dry out quickly and then catch on fire, Lillis said.

READ ALSO: Getting jolly in Victoria: it’s officially one month until Christmas

Using candles as holiday decorations isn’t as common nowadays and many who still use them opt for the LED versions, Lillis noted. However, folks who prefer the real thing need to keep them in a sturdy holder, away from decorations and should always blow them out before leaving the room.

There has been a shift towards LED string lights over the years, but Lillis pointed out that the wires should still be checked for fraying or loose bulbs. The lights should also be hung with clips, not nails or anything that may pierce the cord. Lillis also emphasized that it’s never a good idea for people to try repairing their own burnt-out string lights. Like candles, the lights should also be unplugged when no one is in the room.

READ ALSO: Scouts sell Island-grown Christmas trees in View Royal

Christmas time in Greater Victoria is almost always rainy and this can cause problems for residents who want their homes to be bright enough to be seen from outer space. Outdoor outlets should be covered and indoor lights should never be used outside, Lillis advised. He also points out that overloaded power bars can cause fires even if they have a breaker, and that while it may reduce tripping hazards, running extension cords under carpets isn’t safe.

Lillis also noted that smoke alarms should be checked and all house guests should be briefed on the home escape plan.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Greater Victoria infrastructure get millions in investments to help with economic recovery

New community spaces, health centre, turf fields coming for region

Ryan Reynolds matching fundraising dollars for B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor appeals to the public with Make Ryan Pay! campaign

Victoria International Airport rolls out health and safety initiative

YYJ limits who can enter terminal along with other added safety measures

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

UPDATE: Military reservist facing 22 charges after allegedly ramming gates at Rideau Hall

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read