Column: Oak Bay fire offers holiday safety tips

Capt. Rob Kivell is the Oak Bay Fire Department’s fire prevention officer.

Home fire safety tips for the holidays

Here are some seasonal home fire safety tips:

1. Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

• Make sure you have them and that they’re working.

2. Light up the night without igniting the lights

• Purchase extension cords for the specific job – don’t improvise with an indoor cord outdoors, or daisy chain several shorter cords instead of just getting a longer one.

• As with extension cords, indoor-rated light strings and pre-lit trees are for indoor use only. Products marked for indoor use are not designed to hold up against the elements. However it is safe though to use outdoor extension cords and light strings indoors.

• It is not a good idea to connect different types of light strings together. For example, don’t plug in a new LED string to your old incandescent light string.

• Do not run extension cords under carpets, out windows or doorways where they could become pinched.

• Inspect light strings/set and extension cords before use, and discard any that show signs of wear or damage.

• Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.

• If using candles, burn them in proper holders, on sturdy surfaces away from children and pets. Put out candles before leaving the room or going to sleep.

• Do not overload electrical outlets.

3. Staying warm

• If you must use a space heater, plug it directly into a wall outlet, not into an extension cord or power bar. Give it lots of room – at least 1 m (3 feet) of space on all sides, and turn it off before leaving the room or going to sleep.

• Consider replacing old space heaters with newer models that turn off automatically when tipped or overheating.

• Use a barrier to keep children and pets away from gas or wood burning fireplaces when they are in use.

• Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace.

4. Cooking safe

• Don’t leave grilling, frying or broiling unattended.

• Keep cooking surfaces clutter-free

• Order in if intoxicated.

5. The Tree

• Real or fake, the good news is Christmas trees rarely catch fire. Nevertheless, if using a real one, make sure to keep it well-watered and away from sources of heat. Never use candles on or near the tree.

Capt. Rob Kivell is the Oak Bay Fire Department’s fire prevention officer.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read