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National Home Fire Safety Week urges vigilance during holiday season

The Canada Safety Council is gearing up for National Home Fire Safety Week, running from November 24-30, to raise awareness about the increased risk of fires during the holiday season.

Gareth Jones, President and CEO of the Canada Safety Council, emphasized the importance of proactive fire safety measures.

"Home fires are a silent threat that can devastate lives in an instant. By practicing fire safety mindfully and prioritizing prevention over reaction, we can all play a role in keeping our homes and loved ones safe," Jones stated.

Winter months traditionally see a surge in home fires, with statistics from the U.S.-based National Fire Protection Association highlighting a peak between December 15 and 31. In Canada, home fires are most likely to occur between December and March, according to the Red Cross.

To ensure a safe and festive season, focus on key areas such as Christmas trees, decorative lights, candles, and cooking and baking.

Christmas Trees:

Real trees can become highly flammable as they dry out, while artificial trees with built-in wiring pose electrical fire risks. To prevent incidents, keep trees away from heat sources, check artificial trees for damaged wiring, and regularly water real trees to prevent drying out.

Decorative Lights:

Overheating light strings can lead to electrical fires, especially if used improperly or if the lights are old and damaged. Ensure safety by inspecting lights for damage before use, avoiding overloading outlets with too many lights, and unplugging lights when leaving the house or going to bed.


Unattended candles or those placed too close to flammable objects can pose a significant fire hazard. To mitigate risks, never leave candles unattended; keep them out of reach of children and pets, place them on stable, non-flammable surfaces, and consider using battery-operated LED candles as a safer alternative.

Cooking and Baking:

Increased use of stovetops and ovens during holiday meal preparations can lead to kitchen fires. Practice caution by never leaving cooking unattended, keeping flammable items away from heat sources in the kitchen, and ensuring proper ventilation in the cooking area.

As the holiday season approaches, prioritizing safety through these tips will contribute to a festive and, most importantly, a safe environment for all.

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