Keep Winter Fun and Safe: Don’t Play With Fire

winter family socks

Whether it’s an upcoming dinner gathering, vacation or plans to relax with family and friends, a lot is happening this time of year. No matter how busy people can be, fire safety must come first. While fire prevention is important year-round, it’s easier to fall into dangerous situations in the winter when people are trying to stay warm.

Help prevent fires from starting this winter season. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe:

Keep the kitchen cool

When it comes to food and flavour, bring on the heat and spice. However, when it comes to your kitchen, ensure all appliances are monitored and turned off after use. In addition to the oven, keep your eyes on small appliances like air fryers – one of this year’s most popular kitchen appliances. Remember, an air fryer’s external parts can get hot and when left on too long, it 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 of air dryer in use

Handle the heat

Walking into a chilly house or office isn’t ideal. You might get tempted to crank up the heat, turn on the kettle or a portable heater. 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. It’s also important to keep kids and pets at a safe distance from all sources of heat.

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

Using scents? Use common sense

Candles can create a nice ambience or fill the room with scent. However, they shouldn’t be placed near window coverings or in high-traffic areas where children and pets are. Use extreme caution when lighting a candle or moving it to a different location. Hold it away from your clothes or anything that may catch on fire along your path. If you leave the room or go to sleep for the night, be sure to blow out the candle.

If you choose to freshen up the home with an aerosol air freshener, only spray it in open areas that do not have a heat source or an open flame nearby. Air fresheners can be highly flammable.candle on counter top

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, make sure 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 10 years old. Remember that you need working smoke alarms on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Make sure guests know about your home escape plan and where your meeting spot is located in case of an emergency.

This upcoming winter season, pay extra attention to your surroundings and act quickly in the case of an emergency. 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:

SOURCE City of Mississauga

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