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Fire safety guidelines for Christmas

November 30 2012 Tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy this holiday season

fire safety

Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this winter:

General safety

  • Smoke alarms save lives! Press the test button on your smoke alarm once a month to ensure it is working. If it has a battery, change it once a year.  If your smoke alarm is more than ten years old, it's time to change it.
  • Remember, smoke from a fire can hurt or kill you long before the flames ever get near you. Protect yourself by sleeping with your bedroom door closed and make sure to shut the kids' doors as well!
  • Have and learn how to use a fire extinguisher. We recommend an ABC type extinguisher.

Christmas decor

  • If you have a fresh cut Christmas tree make sure to water it regularly to help retain its moisture. If you purchase an artificial tree, make sure that it is fire retardant.
  • Be cautious on a ladder when installing and removing your Christmas lights. Prior to installing, inspect your lights for excessive wear. If you have any doubt about the age and safety of your strand of lights, it's probably time to get new ones. Be power smart and purchase energy-efficient LED lights.
  • Use only approved CSA and UL tested extension cords and power bars for all your electrical needs.
  • Keep candles away from combustible materials and never use lighted candles on or near a Christmas tree. Don't ever leave your home or go to bed with candles burning.

Cooking and heating

  • Don't ever leave pots unattended on the stove and be extremely cautious when cooking with oil. So far this year, Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services has attended 278 kitchen fires, most of which could have been prevented.
  • Keep all flammable items at least 3 feet from your space heaters. Ensure your heaters are CSA or UL approved.

Book a home safety check

Have Vancouver firefighters come to your home, do a free home safety check, and provide advice on how to make your home safer.

Learn more and book a home safety check