As the classic holiday song proclaims Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, yet all too often the joy of the season is ruined by a fire that could have been prevented.
Although there are no official statistics for holiday fires in Canada, the US reported that from 2009 to 2013, there was an estimated average of 210 reported home structure fires per year, resulting in an annual average of seven civilian fire deaths, 19 civilian fire injuries, and $17.5 million in direct property damage.
While our area does not see numbers like that North Battleford Fire Chief Albert Headrick is urging everyone to practice basic fire prevention and keep their family safe.
“I’ve been here three and a half years and we’ve had two to three fires locally during that time. Nothing of a serious magnitude, thank goodness.” Headrick said.
One way to ensure your family's safety all year long is to make sure you have operational smoke alarms on every floor of your home.
“Faulty smoke alarms whether not working properly or having the batteries removed are the second leading cause of fire deaths in Canada,” Headrick pointed out. “I cannot emphasize how important these devices are. They really are the best way to protect your family from danger.”
Headrick said the leading cause of fires in Canada during Christmas each year is candles.
“The aesthetics of holiday candles look really great, unfortunately some of us don’t realize that candles can reach temperatures of 1,400 Celsius and we often leave them being lit and too close to combustibles.”
He recommends using battery-operated candles which provide the same ambience to your holiday decor with reduced risk of fire.
Headrick also encourages everyone to use CSA-ULC Christmas lights on your tree this season that work properly. Ensure your lights have no frayed wires and that you turn your lights off every night before heading to bed.
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