Nova Scotians are reminded to keep fire safety a priority during the holidays. “Holiday lights and Christmas trees are just some of the ways Nova Scotians celebrate the season,” said Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “During this time of joy, following a few simple steps can help keep you, and your family, safe from the risk of fire.” “We do see an increase in certain types of fires when the weather gets colder and people decorate their homes,” said acting Fire Marshal Harold Pothier. “Lights, candles and trees can create fire hazards if they are not cared for and installed properly.” Over the holidays and winter months, always remember to: In addition, Nova Scotians should take care when installing their Christmas lights. Lights should be checked over carefully for wear, installed following the manufacturers instructions and should not be installed with staples. Also, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors must be regularly maintained. Smoke detectors should be tested monthly, supplied with fresh batteries and replaced every 10 years. For more information on fire safety, contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at 1-800-559-3473. take care when cooking or smoking never discard fireplace or wood stove ashes in your green bin. Instead, place them outdoors in a metal container and away from your house. Let the ashes sit for at least 72 hours before disposing them never leave candles unattended. Keep out of the reach of children and pets,and place in a sturdy holder. Battery-operated candles and lights are safe and convenient alternatives water your natural tree, turn out the lights when not in use, and keep it away from heaters or any flammable objects.