Don't let safety take a holiday

Archived Release

Don't let safety take a holiday

Ministry of the Solicitor General

TORONTO, Dec. 24 - With holiday season candles burning, fireplaces blazing and Christmas trees glowing in homes across the province, Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Monte Kwinter is reminding people to play it safe to avoid unnecessary tragedies. "The risk of residential fires increases during December because people are entertaining and not thinking about the risks of fire from cooking, fireplaces, trees and candles," said Kwinter. "Enjoy the holidays, but practise prevention by keeping a sharp eye on things." Ontario Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle says candle fires are a growing problem. Moyle also suggests watering all real Christmas trees daily so they don't dry out, and keeping them well way from all open flames, including candles. Other tips for a safe and secure holiday include: - Keep candles out of reach of children and pets. - Don't burn paper, wrapping paper or pine boughs in your fireplace. Large sparks can fly from your chimney onto nearby combustible surfaces. - Use a good fitting fireplace screen to keep any sparks or embers from falling out of the fireplace. - Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level and room of your home. - When cooking, keep a proper fitting lid nearby. If your pot catches fire, carefully slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove. - Create an escape plan and rehearse it with the entire family. - Keep fire extinguishers in your home and know how to use them. Disponible en fran├žais www.mpss.jus.gov.on.caFor further information: Contact John Andrews, Communications Branch, (416) 326-9195