Waterloo fire offers safety tips ahead of holidays

A Waterloo Fire Rescue truck. @Waterloo_Fire / Twitter

The City of Waterloo Fire Department has offered some tricks and tips to avoid wrecking your holiday season with an unnecessary fire.

It warns that fires can happen at any time and anywhere, especially if people are distracted, as they are prone to be during the holidays.

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“Never leave a cooking pot unattended on the stove,” Cambridge fire Chief Richard Hepditch stated. “Consider using battery-operated or electric flameless candles.”

The chief warns that smoking is also one of the leading causes of fires over the holidays.

“Make sure smokers extinguish cigarettes in large deep ashtrays – not in plant pots which may contain peat moss or shredded bark that can easily ignite,” Hepditch said.

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“Ashes should be emptied in a metal container – not the garbage can – and put outside.”

The firefighters also suggest having a look at your fire and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are in good working order.

And whether you are cooking a turkey or bacon for breakfast, Waterloo fire says to always make sure you are in the kitchen when you are preparing a meal on the stove.

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It also notes that residents should make sure they put lit candles in a safe spot and keep them away from small kids and pets so they cannot be knocked over.

Other tips include avoiding cooking while you are drinking alcohol.

And if you have a real tree, keep it immersed in water at the base and double-check any lights you use and toss out any damaged ones.

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