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Christmas Fire Safety Tips
 
To ensure a Merry Christmas and fire safe Holiday Season for everyone, the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service suggests the following Fire Safety guidelines be observed:-
       
Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires, so be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking.
 

The Kitchen

 

   

If grease in a pot or pan catches fire smother the flames by covering the pan with a lid.
Turn off the heat immediately.
Use baking soda (flour can be explosive) on shallow grease fires.
Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire.
Never throw water on a grease fire.
Never leave cooking unattended.
Don’t wear loose clothing while cooking.
Store matches, lighters out of reach of children.
Don’t let children use kitchen appliances by themselves and supervise any school projects that involve electrical devices.
     

The Christmas Tree

  
If you have a freshly cut tree ensure that it is of a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance. Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily.
Do not set your tree near a heat source such as television or heating duct.
The Christmas Tree must not block doors.
Never use lighted candles on the tree.


       

Decorations

 

    

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.
       

Lights

 

            

Check each set of lights, new or old for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections and throw out damaged sets.
Always replace burnt out bulbs promptly with the same wattage bulbs.
Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use.
Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage.
Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks.
Turn off holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could start a fire.
Outdoor electric lights and decorations should be plugged into circuits protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI’s).
 

Candles

 

         

Place candles away from absolutely anything that could catch fire.
Never leave burning candles unattended.
Burn them only when a responsible adult is overseeing the flame.
Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets.
Snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.
Extinguish a candle if it smokes, flickers repeatedly or the flame becomes too high.
 

Electrical Outlets

 

   

There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets during the holiday season. This is an unsafe practice and should be avoided even for short durations. REMEMBER – ONE PLUG, ONE SOCKET.
Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
Cover any outlet that is not in use with plastic safety covers if you have toddlers or young children in your home.
Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.
To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord which is in use.
Do not run extension cords under rugs or in areas where a lot of people will be walking.
 

Fireworks

 

      

Don’t allow little children to operate fireworks, even sparklers.
Buy only legal fireworks that have a label with instructions for proper use.
Choose fireworks that are appropriate for the area you’ll be using. For example, avoid using rockets or other aerial fireworks in the backyard of a busy street. Choose fountain type fireworks instead.

Keep pets indoors.
Always use fireworks outside with a bucket of water or hose nearby.
Light one firework at a time and point fireworks away from people.
If you are lighting a firework, wear eye protection and don’t lean over the fireworks.
Don’t wear loosely hanging clothes. Secure all clothes properly.
Wear footwear when lighting fireworks.
If a firework doesn’t seem to work, don’t go over to it or attempt to relight it. Stand back for a while. Douse firework with a hose or bucket of water.
Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away.
 

Watch The Holiday Spirits

DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
Do not cut in front of large trucks. Remember trucks are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop, so avoid cutting quickly in front of them.
Keep your eyes on the road.
Use your cell phone when you have stopped.
NEVER text while driving.
Slow down.
Buckle Up.
 

NOTE:   

Always have two (2) fire escape routes out of your home and practice using them regularly.
All means of escape should be maintained free from obstruction at all times and must provide easy exit for all occupants in the event of an emergency.

Good housekeeping must be maintained at all times.
Emergency Numbers:
   Fire 990 Police 999 ODPM 511 Ambulance 811

 

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