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December is Winter Holiday Fire Safety

The Office of the Commissioner is reminding all Albertans that holiday season is fire season. Here are ten fire safety tips to help you and your family enjoy a safe and happy holiday this year.

  1. Check your smoke alarm this holiday season

  • Test your smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Install smoke alarms inside each room where people sleep.
  • Replace smoke alarms over 10 years old.

  2. Don’t leave candles unattended

  • When you go out, blow out!
  • Keep lit candles safely away from children and pets.
  • Consider using safer, flameless candles, instead of real candles.

  3. Keep your Christmas tree well watered.

  • Water fresh trees daily.
  • Keep the base of the trunk in water at all times.
  • Keep your tree away from any ignition sources, such as the fireplace, heaters or candles
  • Watch this demonstration from the National Fire Prevention Association, showing how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be, as opposed to a tree that’s watered regularly. 

  4. 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.

  5. Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.

  • If a pan of food catches fire, slide a lid over it and turn off the burner.
  • Don’t cook if you are drowsy from alcohol or medication.

  6. Use extension cords wisely.

  • Be careful not to overload electrical outlets with lights, decorations and appliances. This can create overheating, that could result in fire.
  • Never put cords under rugs.

  7. Keep matches and lighters out of sight and in places your kids can’t reach.

  • Matches and lighters can be deadly in the hands of children.
  • If you smoke, have one lighter or book of matches and keep it with you at all times.

  8. Give space heaters space

  • Don’t run space heaters near curtains, furniture, or holiday decorations.
  • Keep them at least three feet (one meter) away from anything that can burn – including you.
  • Shut off and unplug heaters when you leave your home, or go to bed.

  9. Stub your cigarettes out completely and dispose of them safely.

  • Provide smokers with large, deep ashtrays. Stub it Right, Don’t Ignite
  • If you smoke on your balcony, be sure to install a safe, fire-proof ashtray.  
  • Never extinguish smoking materials in plant pots. 

  10. 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).

Holiday e-card

‘Tis the season to be careful. The Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council have gathered some simple safety tips for a safe and merry holiday season this year.

Winter Holiday Fire Safety Kit

The Winter Holiday Fire Safety Kit is packed with useful information for the public on fire prevention and safety during the holiday season. It includes holiday season fire statistics and fire safety tips related to trees, decorating, cooking, candles, smoke alarms and more. Are you ready for a safe holiday?

Campaign Graphics


Holiday Fire Safety Poster

The Office of the Fire Commissioner has developed an 11”x17” holiday fire safety poster for use by community groups and fire departments. Please help spread the message about fire safety this holiday season.


Social Media Graphic

Please help the Office of the Fire Commissioner by sharing or linking our posts about holiday fire safety on Twitter and Facebook.


More Information

Learn more about preventing, detecting and escaping fires from this interactive website:


Questions? Email

  • Date modified: 2016-06-01

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