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

Just Posted

Saanich police search for potential victims, witnesses after series of unprovoked assaults

Police are looking for more information about two incidents from June 12

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Multiple Victoria officers injured during violent incidents, including mental health calls over long weekend

Police deploy pepper spray, conducted energy weapon while arresting suspect

Head of Vancouver Island Regional Library says new branch in North Saanich hands

Area poised to see strong population growth, says director of corporate communication

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Crews work overnight to try to put out wildfire on Pender Island

Fire department and B.C. Wildfire Service crews extinguishing fire in ‘extremely difficult terrain’

Most Read