Taking some precautions with your Christmas decorations at home can ensure a safe holiday season for you and your family.

Top fire safety tips for keeping your family safe over the holidays

Wetaskiwin Fire Services offers residents advice for avoiding indoor fire hazards

With the holiday season upon us, Wetaskiwin Fire Services is providing city residents with safety tips to help keep your holiday joyful and prevent potential tragedies.

If your home decorations this year include a natural tree, it’s important to keep it watered. Just as we need water every day to stay healthy, so does your tree, so keep it topped up daily. A dried-out Christmas tree is a dangerous fire hazard and can lead to an entire living room being consumed by flames only one minute after the fire starts.

Skeptical? Watch the video below to see how fast a dry Christmas tree can burn.

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in your heart, not in your home,” says Jamie Wilkinson, Wetaskiwin Fire Chief and Safety Codes Officer.

Here’s 5 more things to watch for to prevent fire in your home over the holidays:

  1. LED lights the best option – Use indoor lights on your tree that produce minimal heat, such as LED. Regardless of the light string’s age, check the power cord for fraying or damage before using them.
  2. Cord covering a no-go – Extension cords are intended for temporary use only and should not be covered by throw rugs or carpeting. An overloaded extension cord can produce heat, which can lead to a fire.
  3. Power bar reminders – Ensure your power bar is rated for the appliances you wish to supply (find the rating on the back of the bar). Do not plug extension cords or additional power bars into each other. An overloaded power bar can cause fires due to the generation of heat. Regularly check your power bars for signs of excessive heat, cord fraying or damage.
  4. Open flames a risk – Do not leave candles unattended and keep them away from pets and children. Blow out your candles if you are planning on leaving your home and before you go to sleep.
  5. Hydration is crucial! – The fact your natural Christmas tree needs plenty of water bears repeating. A good test of its dryness is to check the needles by pinching them in half. A healthy needle will bend, but a dry needle will snap. Your tree will also change color from green to brown, and needles will fall off.

You can read other electrical safety recommendations here and follow holiday happenings on the City of Wetaskiwin’s Facebook page.

Stay safe and enjoy a happy holiday season.

– Wetaskiwin Fire Services

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Members of Wetaskiwin Fire Services at the ready. Photo by Stu Salkeld/Pipestone Flyer

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