The holiday season is the most festive time of year. As enjoyable as it is, however, it comes with an increased risk of fires.
The most common causes of holiday fires are linked to faulty lights and dry Christmas trees. Be safe during the holiday and protect yourself and your loved ones.
Keep your Christmas tree watered
- Water fresh trees daily.
- Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times.
- Keep your tree away from ignition sources, such as the fireplace, heaters or candles.
- Reducing the fire hazard of pre-lit artificial Christmas trees (PDF, 5.5 MB)
Watch this demonstration from the National Fire Protection Association showing how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be.
Check all lights before decorating
- Before you put up lights, check the cords closely.
- Discard any sets that are frayed or damaged.
- Never plug more than three strings of lights together.
Use extension cords wisely
- Be careful not to overload electrical outlets with lights, decorations and appliances.
- Never put cords under rugs.
Test your smoke alarm
- Test your smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
- Have working smoke alarms installed near each sleeping area and on every level of your home.
Make sure everyone – especially those with reduced hearing ability – in your home can hear your smoke alarms.
Have a home fire escape plan
- Make sure everyone knows how to get out safely.
- Create and practise a home fire escape plan with everyone in your family, as well as your guests over the holidays.
- In case of fire, get out, stay out and call 911 (or your local emergency number).
Don’t leave candles unattended
- When you go out, extinguish all candles.
- Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets.
- Consider using flameless candles.
Space heater safety
- Don’t run space heaters near curtains, furniture, or holiday decorations.
- Only use space heaters that have an automatic tip over shut off switch.
- Keep them at least 1 metre away from anything that can burn – including people and pets.
- Shut off and unplug heaters when you leave your home or when you go to bed.
Download our poster and graphics to share online and in your community to help reduce the risk of holiday-related fires.
- Winter holiday fire safety – Marketing materials (ZIP, 31 MB)
Source: Alberta Government