Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 5:30 PM

Christmas Fire Safety – Light up Your Tree, Not Your Home

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

The St. John's Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) are urging people to stay safe throughout the festive season while celebrating with family and friends. Some of the main causes of fire in the home at this time of year are candles left unattended and Christmas tree lights left on for long periods, very often overnight. Following these few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season for both you and your family.


  • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. The trunk butt of tree should be sticky with resin, and when tapped on the ground, needles should not fall off.
  • Add water to the tree stand daily.
  • Artificial trees should bear a 'fire resistant' label.


  • Use lights according to their certified use. Some lights can be used indoors while others can be used outside.
  • Replace any string of lights that may have broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.


  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
  • Place candles in non-combustible, non-tip candle holders and ensure they are well away from the Christmas tree and other combustible materials.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure they are always out of the reach of children. Matches are not toys; keep them out of the reach of children.


  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected once a year.
  • Always use a fire screen, and burn only dry, seasoned wood.
  • Never use flammable liquids in a fireplace.
  • Always remove ashes from your fireplace in a metal container.

Electrical Outlets

  • Never overload wall outlets even for short durations.
  • Discard any cords having exposed or frayed wiring.
  • 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 carpet or rugs.

As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart!
The SJRFD would like to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

For more information contact:
Captain Mike Maher
Fire Prevention Officer
St. John’s Regional Fire Department
(709) 576-3905