Muskoka Fire Prevention Officers are urging residents to prevent property loss and fire-related injuries by using flashlights, battery operated lanterns or flameless candles instead of typical candles during Earth Hour on March 30.
Earth Hour is an environmental movement by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to encourage people to take action for the planet. It started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and now people from more than 7,000 cities and towns in over 162 countries and territories participate by turning off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time on March 30. Muskoka Fire Prevention Officers want to remind the public about the risk of fires when using candles and encourage people to use battery-operated alternatives instead. They also want to remind residents that it’s the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of the home.
“Preventing fires while participating in this worthy initiative is important,” said Bracebridge Fire Prevention Officer Mike Peake. “If people do choose to light candles for Earth Hour, they should test all of the smoke alarms in their homes ahead of time to ensure they are working. With an increase in candle use, there is an increased risk of fire.”
If you need to use candles, here are some tips on safety from Muskoka Fire Prevention Officers:
- Use sturdy candleholders that won’t tip or burn. Those with glass shades or chimneys are best.
- Keep lit candles a safe distance away from anything that can burn.
- Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Always stay in the room where candles are being used. Never leave candles unattended. Blow all candles out before leaving a room.
- Keep candles out of all bedrooms.