A message from the Fire Chief on Christmas Fire Safety Print Article Font Size

Unfortunately the holiday season is often a busy time for emergency responders.

Whether it is Christmas trees, candles or fireplaces; please follow these tips to help you and your family have a safe holiday.

That real Christmas tree has likely been up for a while. Watering it daily will prevent it from drying out and make it last longer. You can see dramatic video of how quickly a dried out Christmas tree can burn at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPyrJbKJpIY.

Be sure to set your tree up away from exits and other sources of heat as well.

Candles are beautiful, but don’t place them anywhere near your tree or anything else that can burn. Make sure candles are in a sturdy holder on a stable surface – tipped over candles are a common cause of fires. A burning candle should never be left unattended.

Don’t overload electrical circuits. It’s tempting at this time of year to run as many strings of decorative lights as possible. Avoid creating a dangerous electrical octopus. L.E.D. lights are great way to minimize that risk and they’re easy on your electrical bill as well. Remember that extension cords are meant for temporary use only – don’t run them under carpets as they can become damaged and start a fire. Be sure to turn off or unplug decorative lights before going to bed or leaving your home.

Once the presents are all open, and it’s time to clean up, please do not burn the gift wrapping paper in your fireplace or woodstove. The sudden, intense heat created can start a chimney fire.

Speaking of chimneys, is yours clean? Chimneys for wood burning appliances should be cleaned annually to reduce the build up of flammable creosote. Burning dry, seasoned wood with a hot fire will also help. Be sure to use a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks, embers or burning wood from escaping and spreading the fire.

Keeping friends and family safe is a great gift. Could your elderly relatives and neighbours use some help in checking some of these items? How about your son or daughter’s university accommodation? Are you still looking for gift ideas - how about a smoke alarm, fire extinguisher or carbon monoxide detector?

Best wishes for a safe and merry Christmas from all of us at Golden Fire Rescue!