FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Office of the Fire Marshal has issued a series of fire safety tips to help New Brunswickers and their families enjoy a fire-safe holiday season.

Plan ahead

  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Install smoke alarms in every bedroom and on every level of your home, including the basement. Consider giving home smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as gifts.
  • Make sure everyone knows two ways out of your home, and practise an escape plan with everyone in your household.
  • Determine who will be responsible for helping young children, older adults or anyone else that may require assistance to escape.
  • Check that all exits and escape routes are kept clear and easy to access at all times. Keep the snow shovelled from all exits.
  • In case of fire, call the fire department from outside the home, on a cellphone or from a neighbour's home.

Christmas trees

  • If you choose a real tree, pick one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Cut a minimum of five centimetres from the base, place the tree in water, and water it daily. Remove the tree within 10 to 14 days. After that amount of time in a heated building, even the freshest tree can start to dry out.
  • Ensure artificial trees are fire-resistant.
  • Do not set up your tree near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block exits or escape routes.
  • Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or going to sleep. Approved timers can be used to pre-set the on- and off-times.

Holiday decorating

  • Inspect lights before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires. Discard any faulty items.
  • Use lights certified by the Canadian Standards Association.
  • Indoor lights should not be used outdoors because they lack the weatherproof connections. Also, some outdoor lights generate too much heat for indoor use.
  • If you use wax candles, place them away from anything that could catch fire. Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Keep candles away from children and pets, and always remember to blow them out before leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Use non-combustible containers for tea lights and votive candles. Battery-operated LED candles are an excellent alternative.
  • Do not overload extension cords. Make sure cords are never placed under rugs or furniture, as stepping on them can cause damage.