Every year, we all get caught up in the busy holiday season. Kanetix.ca asks that you take a moment to look around and check that your family and home are safe during this time. Because the holiday season brings with it special safety tips, we've compiled a list to help ensure that everyone stays safe.

Your Christmas tree

  • Get a tree that is freshly cut. It stays green longer and is less of a fire hazard.
  • Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance and a large water reservoir.
  • Set up your tree away from all heat sources such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window.
  • Set up your tree so that it does not block doors or windows.
  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive.
  • Avoid decorations that are very small. These are a hazard to children and pets.
  • Never use lighted candles on the tree.

Your holiday lights
  • Use a power bar with several outlets and a circuit breaker to avoid overloading.
  • Don't bunch mini Christmas lights together - the excessive heat could melt the insulation and expose live wires.
  • Check all cords and plugs for fraying, cracks, or loose connections. When in doubt, replace old cords.
  • Never run cords under carpets or across doorways, where they can overheat or become worn.
  • Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified light strings/sets.
  • Use the proper light strings for the environment. Indoor light strings should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections. Some outdoor light strings burn too hot indoors.
  • Inspect light strings before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.
  • Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.

Your fireplace
  • Never burn gift-wrappings, boxes, cartons, and other types of packing in the fireplace. They burn rapidly and generate far too much heat.
  • Don't hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use.
  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Use only seasoned and dried wood.
  • Never let the fire smoulder.
  • Clean the ashes regularly. Place the ashes in a metal container and store outside away from flammable materials.
  • Don't use Christmas trees for firewood.

Checklist created with information from the Canada Safety Council.

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