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Wed, Dec 10th - 5:52AM

Holiday Safety Tips
Open Flames and Candles – Always ensure your candles cannot accidently ignite decorations or other combustible materials. If you have or are entertaining small children ensure all candles are safely out of reach. Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
Xmas Decorations - When using lights, make sure they are certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Underwriters Laboratory Canada (ULC) if decorating an outside tree, use only those lights labeled for outdoor use. Don't overload electrical outlets, and always unplug all interior and exterior lights before going to bed.

Choking Hazard- For children, small toys and special foods can be an incident waiting to happen. Ensure toys are appropriate for the age of the child, and won't create a danger for younger children in the household. Take a quick look around your home if expecting small visitors and remove all potential choking hazards prior to their arrival.
Christmas Trees - Choose a fresh Christmas tree, one with shiny needles, and secure it in a sturdy stand. Avoid placing your tree near a heat source (sunny windows, radiators, heating vents, and fireplaces). Try to keep the tree out of high traffic areas where it might be bumped or overturned, or where someone might trip on light cords. Avoid any spot that might be dangerous, such as next to a fire in the fireplace or up on a wobbly table.
Prepare for holiday parties - Decorate only with flame-retardant or noncombustible materials. If guests will be smoking, provide them with large, deep ashtrays and check them frequently. After the party, check under sofa cushions and in trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering.

Drinking and Driving - When attending a party, designate a non-drinking driver. If you are hosting a holiday gathering, be sure there are non-alcoholic beverages for guests who are driving and arrange for alternate transportation for guests who drink. Remember if someone leaves your home and has too much to drink you could be held partially responsible if tragedy occurs.
Inspect fireplaces and wood stoves - Have your chimney connections and flues inspected by a professional and cleaned if necessary. Use a sturdy screen when burning fires. Burn only wood—never burn paper or pine boughs. If purchasing a factory-built fireplace or wood stove, select one listed by a testing laboratory, and have it installed according to local codes. If you plan to hang stockings on your fireplace, do not use the fireplace for fires. Most insurance companies now require a WETT inspection prior to insuring your home if you have a wood burning appliance.

Enjoy the Holidays – Tis the season to enjoy friends and family, take time from your busy schedules to savour the spirit of giving and sharing with those you love. Remember that sharing with those less fortunate can be a very rewarding experience, and your time and effort can be just as valuable and appreciated as financial contributions. Have a safe and merry holiday season.

Barrie Home Inspector
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