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Winter Safety

Picture of snowy trees against the sky during winter.

Emergency Preparedness

Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in an emergency situation and that you have an emergency kit to sustain your family for at least 72 hours.

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Preventing the Spread of Illness

With everyone home for the Holidays, illnesses can easily spread through your family.

Reduce the risks by washing your hands frequently, using a tissue or coughing and sneezing into your arm, cleaning and sanitizing children’s play surfaces and toys, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and avoiding sharing cups, glasses, dishes or cutlery.

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Fireplace Safety

There’s nothing quite as cozy as a fireplace! Stay cozy and safe by keeping fireplace safety in mind.

Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks and don’t leave the fire unattended. Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire, use only small quantities of seasoned and dried wood and remove ashes regularly.

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Space Heater Safety

Give space heaters space!

If you are using space heaters, remember to keep them at least one metre away from anything that can burn such as curtains, upholstery or holiday decorations. Turn off the space heater before going out or going to bed.

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Carbon Monoxide Detector

Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odourless, dangerous gas. Replace any carbon monoxide alarms over seven years old.

You can help prevent carbon monoxide with good maintenance of fuel-burning appliances.

It comes from from car exhaust, furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, and appliances or equipment that burn solid (wood, charcoal), liquid (gasoline, oil) or gaseous (propane, natural gas) fuels.

If your detector sounds and you have an obvious source of carbon monoxide, evacuate the house, including pets. If anyone is suffering from flulike symptoms, call 911. You can also remove or turn off the carbon monoxide source and ventilate the house. Reset the alarm and re-occupy the house only after the alarm ceases.

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Cold Weather Safety

Manitoba’s low temperatures call for planning ahead and dressing for the weather.

Dress in layers, with a wind-resistant outer layer, wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves, and a scarf, neck-warmer or facemask. Wear warm and waterproof footwear.

When it is very cold, or when the wind chill is significant, cover as much exposed skin as possible. Your body’s extremities, such as the ears, nose, fingers and toes lose heat the fastest.

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Published: January 18, 2020

Holiday Safety

Close up picture of ornaments on a tree.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With holiday celebrations, though, come increased safety risks. Read on to learn what to look out for this season.

Smoke Detector

The winter months are the leading time of year for home fires. With family and friends spending extra time at your home over the holidays, it’s a great time to check your smoke alarms.

Replace smoke alarms if they are over 10 years old. Remember that you need working smoke alarms on every story of your home and outside all sleeping areas.

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Tree Safety

Christmas Trees can be a fire hazard.

If you’re using a fake tree, make sure it is labelled flame-resistant.

If you’re using a real tree, buy a fresh tree and water it daily. Keep your tree away from any ignition source such as the fireplace, heaters or candles. Also keep your tree away from heat sources such as a vent or sunny window that can dry them out.

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Ladder Safety

While putting up your lights this Holiday season, remember to use ladder safety. Maintain three points of contact, keep your body near the middle of the step, and always face the ladder while climbing. Don’t place a ladder on boxes or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.

Also, avoid using a ladder if you are alone or cannot get help in the case of an accident.

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Light Safety

Before you put those lights on the tree or the house, check the cords closely.

Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged, use the proper lights for the environment, link a maximum of three light strands together, and don’t overload circuits. Make sure to turn off all lights before going to sleep or leaving the house.

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Extension Cord Safety

Use extension cords wisely. There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets or chain extension cords during the holiday season, but its a fire hazard.

Keep outdoor electrical connectors above ground and out of puddles and snow, avoid coiling or bunching extension cords in use, don’t run them under carpets, and discard any defective cords with frayed or exposed wire.

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Cooking Safety

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year, which means it’s easy to get distracted from what we are doing.

A stovetop fire can start in a flash, so never leave stovetop cooking unattended. Keep all combustibles away from the stove. This includes tea towels, wooden or plastic spoons and paper towels.

If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.

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Ornament and Decoration Safety

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 that can be choking hazards and decorations that are sharp or breakable. Choose tinsel or artificial icicles of plastic or non-leaded metals. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.

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Candle Safety

When you go out, blow out your candles!

Candles are often part of holiday traditions but remember to always blow out candles before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets and anything that can burn, such as curtains, upholstery or holiday decorations.

Always use non-flammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down.

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Toy Safety

Although intended for fun and entertainment, many toys contain hidden hazards unnecessarily putting children at risk. Luckily, there are ways to reduce these preventable injuries.

Parents can avoid many toy-related hazards by remaining cautious, identifying safety red flags, knowing what classic safety issues to look out for, inspecting new and old toys for defects and poor design, and learning to identify hidden hazards

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Pet Safety

As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible.

Also, be sure to steer pets clear of the human food and treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

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Celebration Safety

With all the festive cheer this time of year, social occasions coupled with alcohol consumption, cooking, smoking or unattended candles can create a fire risk. To minimize the risk at parties, plan your event in advance so you have enough time to prepare the meal.

Hurried cooking activities, multi-tasking and neglecting fire safety can be ingredients for an unwanted house fire. Avoid over-crowding. Encourage guests to smoke outside or provide them with a safe ashtray, and refrain from burning candles during parties. Ensure any guests who drink have a ride home.

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Published: December 13, 2020