News Release Archive


Every Nova Scotian should add fire safety to their "to do" list
this holiday season, advise Labour Minister Manning MacDonald and
Fire Marshal Bob Cormier.

"The best way to fight a fire is to prevent it," said Mr.
MacDonald. "I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to think
about fire safety during this busy time of year."

Last year, there were approximately 2,000 fires in Nova Scotian
homes. "While fire can cause great loss any time of year, it's
especially tragic during the holidays," said the minister. "Let's
make this season happy and fire safe."

Here are the fire marshal's fire safety tips for the holiday

-  Make sure natural trees are fresh. Watch for yellow needles
   and brittle branches.

-  Before putting up a tree, re-cut the butt and place it in a
   sturdy stand with at least one gallon of fresh water. Check
   the water level daily.

-  Keep the tree away from direct heat sources, exits and high
   traffic areas.

-  Artificial trees should be fire resistant. Trees with aluminum
   or steel frames conduct electricity and should not be
   decorated with strings of lights.

-  Keep cigarettes, candles and open flame away from the tree.

-  Disconnect tree lights at least 15 minutes before leaving the
   house or going to bed.

-  Natural trees should be discarded as soon as they dry out
   -- about 10-15 days.

-  Make sure all tree lighting is approved by the Canadian
   Standards Association (CSA).

-  Bulbs should be compatible with the light set.

-  Check for loose connections, bad sockets and plugs, damaged
   wiring or other defects.

-  Do not use indoor lights or indoor extension cords outside.
   Outdoor cords and lighting must be CSA approved for outdoor

-  Do not run extension cords under rugs or across doorways where
   they could become worn or broken.

-  Do not staple interior lights to walls or window frames.

-  Do not overload circuits.

-  Promptly remove wrapping paper and boxes from under the tree.

-  Do not burn gift wrap in stoves or fireplaces. It creates
   sudden, extreme heat which can cause chimney fires.

-  Keep a portable fire extinguisher in a clearly visible and
   accessible location.

-  Make sure smoke alarms are installed and working. 

-  Put a smoke alarm or fire extinguisher under the tree as a
   gift for friends or family.

The Office of the Fire Marshal, which is part of the Department
of Labour, works with local fire departments to improve fire
safety in Nova Scotia. Staff inspect buildings, investigate
fires, and promote fire safety and prevention initiatives.

Labour Minister Manning MacDonald, Fire Marshal Bob Cormier and
everyone at the department wish all Nova Scotians a safe and
happy holiday season.


Contact: Bob Cormier        902-424-5721 or 1-800-559-3473

         Jennifer MacIsaac  902-424-4680 or 902-424-3219

trp                       Dec. 12, 1996 - 9:50 a.m.