The Estevan Fire Rescue Service is urging people to be cautious when it comes to Christmas decorations at this time of year.
Fire Chief Dale Feser said people want to make sure they are choosing decorations that are flame resistant, or at least flame retardant.
One of the biggest aspects of the fire department’s Christmas safety message each year is on Christmas trees. There are a lot of people who love real Christmas trees, and it adds a nice environment and smell to a home.
“There are a lot of things to be concerned about with Christmas trees,” said Feser. “They’re gorgeous, but you want to make sure they’re very well watered. Before placing the tree in the stand, you want to make sure that you’re cutting two inches from the base of the trunk. That’s going to allow the tree to absorb as much moisture as it can, so it keeps the tree healthy and full of moisture.”
The tree should be at least three feet from any heat sources, including fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, lights or secondary heating appliances, and Feser asks people to water their trees on a daily basis.
Another safety tip is to ensure Christmas lights are used in the right situation.
“Indoor lights are for indoors. Outdoor lights are for outdoors. You obviously do not want to bring those outdoor lights inside to try to decorate, because they throw off a heck of a lot more heat than the indoor lights do.
“If at all possible, people should try to use LED lighting, because they create a lot less heat than incandescent bulb-style Christmas light streams.”
People should also make sure they keep lit candles away from decorations and other flammable materials. He suggested using battery-operated candles.
“You always to make sure that you’re installing lights on the exterior of your home in a safe manner. Make sure that the ladder is properly heeled. Make sure that it’s the proper inclination, so that you’re not going to slip and fall.”
People should use clips instead of nails or staples when attaching lights to a building.
“You never know if there’s an electrical wire that’s behind where you’re trying to nail some of these hangars in place,” said Feser. “And decorations should be kept away from windows and doors, should you have to evacuate the building on a moment’s notice.”
Feser also urged people to test their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they’re working.