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Fire department offers tips for a safe holiday

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 10:33 am

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The Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) has put its own twist on the 12 days of Christmas, with 12 days of seasonal safety.

AFD has always made an effort to increase awareness around fire safety during the holiday season, according to Deputy Chief Linda Masson, but opted for a fresh approach this year.

“We wanted to take advantage of the increased traffic on the City of Airdrie’s website,” said Masson. “All of the information will be available there throughout the holidays.”

The risk of household fires increases significantly around the holiday season, according to statistics collected by the Office of the Fire Commissioner. During a five year period between 2005 to 2009, fire-related deaths in Alberta homes doubled during the period of Dec. 15 to Dec. 31 when compared with the rest of the year.

“People are very busy during the holidays, add to that the fact that people are using more electrical devices such as lights and decorations and extension cords,” said Masson.

“There are more candles and heating devices like fireplaces being used at this time of year so we just want to get people thinking about safety to make sure that accidents don’t happen.”

The most common cause of household fires around the holiday season is from heating equipment, which accounts for 19 per cent of all fires during the holidays, compared to just nine per cent during the rest of the year.

Cooking fires account for 19 per cent throughout the holidays, compared to 17 per cent during the rest of the year.

Masson says it is the combination of having a house full of people and using an increased number of items that you may not use at other times throughout the year. Most fires during the holiday season occur indoors.

The AFD hopes to take advantage of increased traffic on the City of Airdrie’s website, which went mobile on Dec. 6.

The website has seen a jump in the number of page visits from around 40,000 per quarter to nearly 50,000.

“These tips have been designed to go on the website because it’s the best way to reach a large group of people,” said Masson. “If anyone has questions beyond what is posted to the website, we are more than happy to answer them.”

Information on the 12 days of seasonal safety can be found at The Airdrie Fire Department can be contacted at 403-948-8880.


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