The Saint John Fire Department would like to remind everyone of some basic measures you can take to keep your home and family safe from fire this holiday season.
Get a freshly cut tree. It will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard. Try to pick a tree with a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance;
Always test for freshness before buying. A tree with high moisture content is safer. Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground; needles should bend, not break; and the stump should be sticky with resin;
Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily. Make sure it is always immersed in water: If water drops below the trunk, the stem may reseal itself, requiring a fresh cut. Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance;
Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block doors. Never use lighted candles on the tree;
Remove the tree within 10 to 14 days. After that amount of time in a heated building, even the freshest tree can start to dry out.
Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive;
If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations;
Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible;
Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.
Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified light strings/sets;
Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot for indoors; Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken, or exposed wires, and discard if faulty;
Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact. Illuminate metallic trees with colored floodlights placed at a safe distance from the tree and out of reach;
Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.
Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan;
Properly functioning smoke alarms should be placed in every sleeping room and/or in the hallway directly adjacent to those rooms;
Bedroom doors should remain closed while sleeping.
Here to help – For inquiries related to municipal services, contact the City of Saint John Customer Service Centre at (506) 658-4455, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us in person on the Ground Floor of City Hall, 15 Market Square, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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