Loss Prevention Tips For Your Holiday Season
This holiday season celebrate in safety. Make sure added decorations don’t add costs by following these Loss Prevention Tips from Red River Mutual
However you plan to celebrate here are a few things to keep in mind as you put up your decorations this year.
- Only use lights and extension cords that are in good condition.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how many sets of lights can be safely strung together.
- Use only indoor lights and extension cords indoors, and outdoor lights and cords for outdoor use.
- Use mini or LED lights as they have cool‐burning lights and save electricity.
- Never remove the ground pin or file the wide peg of plug as this interferes with the electrical grounding.
- Never place extension cords through doorways or under carpets.
- Use only non‐flammable or fire-resistant artificial decorations.
- Do not use angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes as this combination is very combustible.
- Do not use nails, tacks or staples to hang cords and lights as this can damage the insulation on the outside of the wire, causing corrosion or a short circuiting.
For more information on decoration do’s and don’ts, check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
If your holiday decorations include a tree, there are some added precautions you should take when choosing, setting up, decorating, maintaining and removing your tree.
Choosing a Tree – Artificial or Fresh Cut
- You can reduce the risk of a Christmas tree fire by choosing to have an artificial tree in your home. They’re beautiful, reusable and fire resistant, making them a safe choice for holiday decorating.
- If you love the smell and tradition of a real Christmas tree, make sure to choose one with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.
Setting up the Tree
- Before putting the fresh cut tree in the stand, cut an inch off from the base of the trunk to allow water to be absorbed and keep the tree fresh.
Positioning the Tree
- Make sure to place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source that could dry out the tree or cause it to catch fire.
Watering the Tree
- If you choose a fresh cut tree, allowing it to dry out can create a serious fire hazard, so be sure to keep the base reservoir full of water. A tree can absorb a surprising amount of water, so make watering part of your daily routine and expect to add at least 3-4 litres a day.
Lighting the Tree
- Check lights and cords before using for cracks, frayed wires, damaged light sockets or any signs of wear or overheating. Replace immediately if any problems are found.
- Only use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory like CSA or ULC. This proves that the items have been tested and meet Canadian safety standards.
- Remember to always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the house or going to sleep.
Removing the Tree
- The biggest risk of Christmas tree fires is after Christmas day. When you’re busy with gatherings or vacations, it’s easy to forget or stop watering and let the tree dry out.
- If you know you are going to be away, it’s best to get the tree out of the house or taken down before you leave. Check with your community for recycling depot locations or curbside pick-up schedules.
For more information about Christmas tree safety check out the full Loss Prevention Tip.
You may want to set the ambience this holiday season, by lighting a few candles around the house. Here are a few tips to keep flickering flames from becoming roaring fires.
Placing Your Candles
- Position candles well away from flammable objects and materials like curtains, lampshades and plants, and well away from any possible contact by pets or children.
- Place candles on heat-resistant surfaces which will not transmit heat to the furniture on which they are placed and place them on something to catch any dripping wax.
- Keep candles out of drafty locations.
- Never move a lighted candle.
- Install a smoke detector in every room where candles are burned.
Lighting and Maintaining Your Candles
- Never light a candle in a situation in which you might fall asleep before blowing it out.
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Keep candle wicks trimmed. This will allow your candle to burn cleanly, safely and without smoking. Trim the wick to about 1/4″ every time you burn.
- Keep wick trimmings and other debris out of the pool of melted wax.
- When blowing out a candle, hold your index finger in front of the flame and blow at it. Air will flow around your finger, extinguish the candle from both sides, and prevent hot wax from splattering.
It’s also important to keep candle safety a priority if you attend any religious gatherings over the holiday season.
- Don’t pass around candles from person and when lighting candles at a candle lighting service, have the person with the unlit candle dip their candle into the flame of the lit candle.
- If you light a candle that must burn continuously, or will be unattended, enclose it in a glass container in a sink or some other place where it can be surrounded by water.
- A safe, fuss-free option is to use an LED alternative.
Celebrate in Safety
We hope these tips and tricks will give you a little peace of mind this holiday season and help you put your money, time and attention towards the ones you love, not an expensive claim situation.