Holiday Safety Precautions to Keep your Family and Home Safe

Hillary Johnson

With the holiday season upon us, some hidden dangers might be lurking in your home. In particular, one major decoration can create multiple hazards if not properly used or maintained. Terrace Deputy Fire Chief, Dave Jephson says the Christmas tree can pose a significant risk if neglected.


"The problem with real Christmas trees or live Christmas trees is that you go down with your family and you cut in the forest, you bring it home, you dry it out, put it in, you forget to water it. So what happens is within, a couple of days, it uses up all the water it starts to dry and that now becomes a tinder box, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, a minute, your whole room is totally consumed because of that fuel source. A fake tree; they are fireproof, would we still use the same caution? Yes, you want to keep it two-three feet away from a heat source, you want to make sure your wiring, in the lights you put on are looked after and cared for."


Jephson says safety in the kitchen is especially crucial at this time of year since there tends to be a lot more cooking and baking happening in the household.


"Don't leave the kitchen if you have oil burning. An oil fire, once it starts, doubles in size every 30 seconds. Obviously, when it comes to stove fires, the best practice is turn the element off and put a lid on it, it’s going to seal the top of that pot or that frying pan and that takes away the oxygen and that will put your fire out."


Hanging decorations and stringing Christmas lights outside can also pose a risk.


"When you're using a ladder, obviously you want to have the ladder have four points of contact, two on the bottom, and two on the top. That makes it safe. When we are climbing a ladder, you want to have three points of contact, so we are always in contact with the ladder as we go up. Have a tool belt, if you have to make a second or third trip up with lights. It's not going to hurt you to climb the ladder two or three extra times."


Following these safety practices, at all times, during this holiday season, will go a long way in ensuring you,  your family and any of your furry four-legged family members, stay safe going into the New Year. Happy holidays!

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