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Essential Safety Tips for the Holiday Seasons

Christmas is around the corner. Christmas markets are open in towns and cities and houses are getting decked out with decorative lights.

For a safe and comfortable holiday season, it is always important to prioritize safety at all times. Read on for some important Christmas safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter.

For Christmas Trees

  • If you choose to get a real tree for the season, make sure it is a fresh one. You can tell by pulling off the needles; If they are hard to pull off, the tree is fresh.

  • If you have fresh mistletoe, keep it away from pets as eating it is actually toxic. Be mindful of other poisonous plants too such as holly berries, amaryllis, and Jerusalem cherry.

  • Make sure to properly secure the tree. We don't want Santa to get squished by a fallen Christmas tree! Get a strong, sturdy tree stand that perfectly fits your tree's trunk.

  • Place the tree away from any high-traffic areas.

  • Place the tree away from any factor that can make the tree a fire hazard. Heating vents, stoves, fireplaces, radiators, and burning candles all must be far away from the tree.

  • When the holidays are over, properly dispose of the tree. Find the local regulations as most municipalities have tree recycling programs.

For Holiday Lights and Decorations

  • We strongly recommend that you use the lights with the mark of an accredited certification agency such as CSA, cUL, or cETL. You can visit the Government of Canada's website to see if the lights you plan to purchase has recalled.

  • Make sure you get the right light for the job. While some lights are good to be used both indoors and outdoors, some delicate decorative lights are only for indoor uses. Carefully read the package to find this information. Also, never exceed the recommended wattage.

  • Use Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) outlets when plugging in outdoors.

  • Before using any lights, thoroughly check all the light bulbs. Replace all broken or burned-out bulbs with new ones (approved/recommended by the manufacturer).

  • Always keep in mind fire safety. Never plug too many lights and decorations into an outlet as overloaded circuits can easily get overheated and start a fire.

For Travel

  • The Christmas season can be especially dangerous because unusually many people are on the road at the same time. In addition, depending on the area you are in, you may encounter extreme weather conditions such as ice and snow.

  • Give yourself extra time so that you can avoid rushing. Rushing, especially when it is extra-crowded, is never a good idea.

  • Have your car fully serviced before you leave for a long road trip. Year-end is usually a busy time for car maintenance/repair so plan it ahead of time.

  • It is always a good idea to carry an emergency kit with you.

  • Go extra slow if you're driving in snow or ice. If the condition gets worsened, stop and wait for snowplows to clear the roadways first.

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