Submitted Media Release

Every year in Ontario, tragic fatal fires occur during the holiday season.

“I urge you to take a few minutes to protect yourself and your family this holiday season,” said Doug Kellam, Fire Prevention Officer for the County of Brant Fire Department. “Test your smoke alarms to make sure they are in good working order and change the batteries, if necessary. Review your home fire escape plan and make sure all members of your household know two ways out of every room.”

The Fire Prevention Officers at the County of Brant offer the following safety reminders to ensure you have a happy holiday season:

· Careless smoking is the leading cause of fire deaths. If you know someone who smokes, be sure to remind them of safe smoking habits. Smokers should use large, deep ashtrays and never empty ashes into the garbage. Also, never smoke when tired or after drinking.

· Careless cooking is the number one cause of home fires in Ontario. Most of these fires start because pots and pans are left unattended on the stove. If you must leave the kitchen when you are cooking, turn off the stove. While cooking, always keep a large lid nearby. If a pot does catch fire, slide the lid over the pot, then turn off the stove.

· There’s nothing more appealing on a cold winter’s night than a blazing fire place and the warm glow of candles. But open flame can be an invitation to disaster. Please treat fire with respect this holiday season. Never leave your fireplace unattended and always use a fireplace screen. Don’t burn wrapping paper or ribbons in your fireplace. Make sure candles are in a secure holder and place them out of the reach of children.

· If you are buying a Christmas tree, make sure it is a freshly cut tree and kept in a stand full of water at all times. Check all decorative lights before placing them on the tree and discard any frayed or damaged lights or cords. Never place lit candles on or near the Christmas tree. When large amounts of needles begin to fall off, it’s time to get rid of the tree.

If you have any questions about fire safety, please contact Doug Kellam, Fire Prevention Officer at the County of Brant Fire Department; 519.442.4500 and