From New Year's Eve and Canada Day fireworks to Easter celebrations to Halloween haunts to Thanksgiving dinners to Christmas and other winter festivities, it is important to always keep fire safety top of mind.

Learn how to keep your family and loved ones safe throughout the holidays.



Winter Fire Safety

During the colder months, you can prevent fires by keeping some important safety tips in mind.

Fireworks Safety
  • Before you use fireworks, always check Alberta Fire Bans to find out if there is a fire ban in effect
  • Before you use fireworks, check the weather conditions to ensure the wind conditions are safe
  • Follow all the instructions for the safe use of the fireworks
    • Pay special attention to personal and public safety measures
  • Follow all the restrictions for storage and use, to ensure that the firework performs as expected
  • Have a responsible adult handle and discharge the fireworks
    • Keep fireworks and sparklers away from children
  • Always have a proper fire extinguisher and a supply of water nearby when using fireworks

Learn more about fireworks permits.
 

Spring Cleaning Around the Home
  • Remove dead vegetation and other flammable materials, especially within the first 5 feet of the home
    • Dispose of branches, weeds, leaves, pine needles, and grass clippings 
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained
    • If it is brown, cut it down to help reduce fire intensity
  • Prune tree limbs so the lowest branches are 6 to 10 feet above the ground 
  • Move construction material, trash, and wood piles at least 30 feet away from the home and other outbuildings
Holiday Entertaining
  • The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays 
    • Have activities on hand such as games, puzzles or books to keep kids occupied and out of the kitchen
    • Learn more about cooking fire safety
  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan
  • If your children are attending holiday parties at other people’s homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would escape in an emergency
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside
    • Remind them to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them
    • Provide large, deep ashtrays for their use
       
Halloween Safety for Children
  • Use battery-operated candles (or glow sticks) inside jack-o-lanterns
    • If lighting a real candle inside a jack-o-lantern, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter
  • Choose a safe costume for your child that is
    • Flame resistant
    • Bright enough for drivers to see
    • The right length to prevent trips and falls 
    • If the costume includes a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough to see out of
  • Provide children with flashlights to carry
  • Remind children of how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire
  • Keep all decorations (dried cornstalks, hay bales, dried flowers, paper decorations) away from open flames and other heat sources
  • Keep exits clear of decorations to ensure a safe fire exit
     
Holiday Candle Safety

December is the peak time of year for home candle fires, most of which involve decorations. 

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns
    • If you use a real candle, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter to light it
    • Place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way for trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a Christmas tree
  • Keep candles at least 3 feet away from things that can burn, such as Christmas trees, decorations and curtains
  • Candles placed on tables, altars or shrines must be maintained under the supervision of an adult
  • Consider using battery-operated candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles

Download the Stay Safe Sheet: Candle Safety to learn more.

Holiday Decorations
  • Keep decorations away from exits (windows and doors) so nothing blocks escape routes
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters
  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant
     
Decorative Lights
  • Only use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory
    • Read the manufacturer's instructions to learn how many strands of lights can be safely connected together
  • Make sure outdoor decorative lights, extension cords and outlets are weatherproof or identified for outdoor use
  • Don't overload electrical outlets or run extension cords under carpets, across doorways or near heat sources
  • Unplug all decorative lights before leaving your home or going to bed
  • Replace any string of lights that contain frayed cords or loose bulb connections
  • Use clips instead of nails when hanging lights to prevent cord damage
  • Take down outdoor decorative lights after 90 days to prevent damage from weather and animals
Christmas Tree Safety

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. Be fire smart this season by following these precautions.

For Natural Trees:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched
  • Place the tree in a sturdy, non-tip stand
    • Ensure the stand is at least 3 feet away from heat sources (i.e., fireplace, space heater, candles, lights, heat vents/radiators)
    • Make sure the tree does not block any exits
  •  Check the water level for the tree each day and add water as needed
  • Dispose of the tree within 4 weeks, or sooner if it dries out. Store it away from the house or garage.

For Artificial Trees:

  • Check that the tree is flame retardant
  • Inspect the lights on pre-lit trees for damage prior to use
  • Place the tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources (i.e., fireplace, space heater, candles, lights, heat vents/radiators)
  • Make sure the tree does not block any exits