Holiday Fire Safety

Each year, fires during the holiday season injure British Columbians and cause thousands of dollars in property damage. There are simple life-saving steps that can prevent fires.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner offers some basic fire safety tips, so British Columbians can enjoy a fire-safe holiday season:

Cooking Safety

  • A stovetop fire can start in a flash. Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking on the stove or in the microwave
  • Keep all combustible items a safe distance away from the stove. This includes tea towels, wooden or plastic spoons and paper towels
  • Keep a pot lid near the stove to smother flames if a fire starts in a pot

Candle Safety and Holiday Decorating

  • Use non-combustible containers for tea lights and votive candles. Battery-operated candles are an excellent alternative
  • Place candles in a location where they can’t be knocked over or come in contact with combustible items, such as curtains
  • Blow out all candles before leaving the room or going to bed
  • Decorate with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials
  • Keep Christmas trees, wrapping and decorations away from heat sources
  • Keep your real Christmas tree fresh by watering it often. Consider a fire resistant artificial tree as an alternative
  • Use only lights which have been tested and labelled by an approved testing laboratory
  • Always turn tree lights off before leaving home or going to sleep. Consider using approved timers to preset the on and off times

Smoke Alarms and Fire Escape Planning

  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area
  • Check and clean smoke alarms regularly and change batteries at least twice a year
  • Develop a fire escape plan and practice it regularly. Know two ways out of every room if possible