Enjoy a happy, hazard-free holiday season with tips from Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services

Couple in front of fireplace

Winter is a busy time of year for many residents across Mississauga. With winter break, holidays and dinner parties on top of mind and scribbled into family calendars, there is one piece of advice from Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services – You’re never too busy to be safe.

Your holidays and winter break should be happy and hazard-free. Help prevent fires from starting by following these tips:

Keep the kitchen cool

Everyone loves a home-cooked feast during this time of year. Ensure that you always stay in the kitchen when the stove is on. Also, avoid distractions while you cook and never operate your stove if you are tired or under the influence. Monitor small appliances such as toasters, pressure cookers, slow cookers and air fryers. Remember, an air fryer’s external parts can get hot, and when left on too long, they can cause overheating.

With anything electrical, it’s always a good idea to read the appliance manual, which includes important safety tips, cleaning instructions and potential hazards that may cause a fire.

Stay away from heat sources

You might get tempted to light a candle, turn on a portable heater for a few hours, or boil water for a hot drink. You need to pay attention to all heat sources and keep children, vulnerable people and pets away from those items. Remember, keep anything that can burn or catch on fire at least three feet away from heat sources such as a fireplace, stove, heater or furnace.

If you have concerns about your heating equipment, contact a qualified professional to work according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. Having heating equipment and chimneys inspected and cleaned yearly by a professional is also a good idea.

Decorate and design safely

Decorating with plants and lights? Carefully check all the cords and plugs to ensure they are not frayed or damaged. If using extension cords, ensure they aren’t overloaded or placed under rugs, which can damage the cord and cause a fire. If you’re using a real tree, ensure it’s fresh and keep the base of the trunk watered. Keep your tree away from the fireplace, heater or candles.

Keep your guests safe

With family and friends spending extra time at your home for the holidays, now is a great time to check your smoke alarms. Replace smoke alarms if they are more than ten years old. Remember that you need working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas.

Seniors, vulnerable individuals, children, neighbours and pets depend on all of us to keep one another safe.

Learn more about fire prevention from Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services: mississauga.ca/services-and-programs/health-and-safety/fire-and-emergency-services/fire-safety-at-home

SOURCE City of Mississauga

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