Government urging Albertans to be fire smart as they deck the halls

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Above: Minister Anderson, Fire Chief Dan Lemieux (Strathcona County Emergency Services) and Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank talked about being fire smart with decorations and cooking during the holiday season.

by Morinville News Staff

Fire-related deaths double in Alberta during the Christmas season. In 2016, there were 4,324 fires in Alberta resulting in 29 deaths and 166 injuries. As such, the Government of Alberta is asking Albertans to follow safety tips to keep their family safe.

“The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, but it is also a busy time, and fire safety is often not on the top of our to-do list,” said Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “It’s easy to forget to blow out candles or turn off your decorations when you’re rushing around. I want to take this opportunity to remind all Albertans to be fire smart when decorating and entertaining to ensure a safe and happy holiday season.”

The government’s tips are as follows:

☻ Water natural Christmas trees daily and keep them away from fireplaces, heaters and candles.

☻ Check all lights for loose bulbs and worn or broken cords and replace any damaged sets of lights.

☻ Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect and remember that lights are either for indoor or outdoor use – not both.

☻ Place candles in a glass holder and blow them out before leaving a room or going to bed.

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☻ Turn off indoor and outdoor decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.

☻ Be careful not to overload electrical outlets and never put cords under rugs.

☻ Use electric appliances for deep frying instead of heating oil in a pot.

☻ Stay in the kitchen when cooking and if a pan catches fire, slide a lid over it and turn off the burner.

☻ Keep space heaters at least one metre (three feet) away from curtains, furniture and decorations.

The province is also recommending Albertans establish and practise a fire escape plan with two ways out of the house. The fire escape plan should also be shared and reviewed with holiday visitors.

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