City of North Battleford - Saskatchewan

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Christmas Fire Safety Tips
We wish you a joyous and safe holiday season!
December 11th 2019

The Holiday Season marks a special time for families and friends to get together, but it’s also a time of increased risk of fire. The celebration of the season brings with it increased use of electric lights, decorations, and candles – all of which can be potential fire hazards. By following a few simple tips, you can ensure a happy and fire-safe Holiday Season.

The Christmas Tree

Get a freshly cut tree. It will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard. Try to pick a tree with a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance. Always test for freshness before buying. A tree with high moisture content is safer. Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground; needles should bend, not break; and the stump should be sticky with resin.

Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily. Make sure it is always immersed in water: If water drops below the trunk, the stem may reseal itself, requiring a fresh cut. Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance.

Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block doors. Never use lighted candles on the tree.


  • Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive. If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations.

  • Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible.

  • Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.


  • Use the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified light strings/sets.

  • Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot indoors.

  • Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires, and discard if faulty.

  • Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact. Illuminate metallic trees with coloured floodlights placed at a safe distance from the tree and out of reach.

  • Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.


  • Place candles away from anything that could catch fire.

  • Never leave burning candles unattended.

  • Burn them only when a responsible adult is overseeing the flame.

  • Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets.

  • Snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.

The Kitchen

Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires in Canada, be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking. Here's what to do if grease in a pot or pan catches fire:

  • Smother the flames by covering the pan with a lid;

  • Turn off the heat immediately;

  • Use baking soda (flour can be explosive) on shallow grease fires;

  • Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire;

  • Never throw water on a grease fire.

The Fireplace

  • Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace. They burn too rapidly and generate far too much heat.

  • Don't hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use.

  • Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.

  • Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire.

  • Use only seasoned and dried wood.

  • Never leave the fire unattended or let it smoulder.

  • Clean the ashes regularly. Place the ashes in a metal container and store outside away from flammable materials.

  • Don't use Christmas trees for firewood.

Electrical Outlets

  • There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets during the holiday season. This is an unsafe practice and should be avoided even for a short duration.

  • Inspect all cords before using them. Make sure they are CSA certified. Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wire. Discard any defective cords. Read the labels and manufacturer's instructions to ensure proper use.

  • Insert plugs fully into outlets. Poor contact may cause overheating or shock.

  • To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord which is in use and do not run it under carpets or rugs.

The North Battleford Fire Department asks that you practise fire safety at all times by having a plan to escape your home in the event of a fire, practice that plan, install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and on every floor of your home and to test your smoke alarms at least monthly.

We wish you a joyous and safe holiday season!

For more information:

Lindsay Holm, Fire Chief / Director of Protective Services
306-445-1777 |

Dustin Tungilik MacDonald, Communications Administrator
306-445-1713 |