Holiday fire safety

Victoria Wednesday, December 19, 2018 2:30 PM


With the winter holidays almost here, the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Emergency Management BC offer some fire safety advice to help ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season for all British Columbians.


  • Keep combustibles such as trees, wrapping paper and decorations away from heat sources.
  • Ensure a real tree stays fresh by watering it often. Dispose of it safely.
  • Choose flame-retardant or non-combustible decorations and only use lights that have been tested and labelled by a certified testing laboratory. Consider energy-efficient LED lighting, which produces less heat and poses less of a fire risk.
  • Always turn incandescent decorative lights for real trees off before leaving home or going to sleep. Certified timers can be used to pre-set on and off times.
  • Ensure electrical outlets are not overloaded.

Cooking safety

  • Stovetop fires can start in a flash. Always stay in the kitchen while food is cooking and keep anything flammable at a safe distance from the stove.
  • When celebrating the holidays with children, designate a “kid-free zone” around the stove and food preparation areas.

Candle safety

  • Always place candle holders on a stable surface, and never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Use non-combustible containers for tea lights and votive candles. Battery operated candles are an excellent alternative.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

Smoke alarms and fire escape planning

  • Ensure working smoke alarms are present on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.
  • Test and clean smoke alarms regularly and change batteries at least twice a year.
  • Develop a fire escape plan, practise it regularly and have at least two ways out of a home. Remember to share this emergency plan with guests as well.
  • Make sure holiday decorations do not block any exits.

Learn More:

Holiday Fire Safety web site:

EMBC works year-round with local governments to prepare for emergencies. For more information on how individuals and families can get prepared, visit:

For tips on how to stay safe, follow Emergency Management BC on Twitter:
and PreparedBC:

National Fire Protection Association Project Holiday:

Electrical Safety Foundation International:

Before heading out on the roads this winter, visit Drive BC at:

Remember to “Shift into Winter.” For more details, visit:

Contact the Office of the Fire Commissioner:

Christmas tree burn test: dry versus hydrated:

This on BC Govt website go to link click here


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