Skip to content

Delta Fire shares tips to keep you safe during the holiday season

Delta Fire Department have continued to make your safety their priority and they are here for you 24/7
holiday fire safety tips
Getty images

The holiday season has arrived and Delta Fire & Emergency Services want to share some safety tips with the community.

“Typically, the holidays are a time to enjoy family and friends and reflect on those things that are the most important to each of us. While this year has NOT been like any other year that we have experienced, members of your Delta Fire Department have continued to make your safety their priority and they are here for you 24/7,” says Capt. Brian Hogg with the department’s Fire Prevention Division.

“There should be nothing more important than providing a safe and secure home for your family. By following these simple, but often overlooked, safety tips you will be well on your way to a safe and happy holiday season.

The kitchen

Grease and fat fires are a leading cause of home fires in Canada, so be extra careful when doing this kind of cooking. Here’s what to do if grease in a pot or pan catches fire:

Smother the flames by covering the pan with a lid

Turn off the heat immediately

Use baking soda (flour can be explosive) on shallow grease fires

Never turn on the overhead fan, as this could spread the fire

Never throw water on a grease fire

The Christmas tree

Get a freshly cut tree. It will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard. Try to pick a tree with a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance

Always test for freshness before buying. A tree with high moisture content is safer. Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground; needles should bend not break; and the stump should be sticky with resin

Place the tree in a stand that will hold two to three litres of water and top it up daily. Make sure it is always immersed in water: If water drops below the trunk, the stem may reseal itself, requiring a fresh cut. Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance

Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block doors

Never use lighted candles on the tree

Remove the tree within 10 to 14 days. After that amount of time in a heated building, even the freshest tree can start to dry out


Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive. If there are young children or pet in your home, avoid very small decorations

Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible.

Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard


Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified light strings/sets

Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors because they lack weatherproof connections. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot indoors

Inspect light strings/sets before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken or exposed wires and discard if faulty

Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact. Illuminate metallic trees with coloured floodlights placed at a safe distance from the tree and out of reach

Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house


Place candles away from absolutely anything that could catch fire

Never leave burning candles unattended

Burn them only when a responsible adult is overseeing the flame

Put candles in sturdy holders on a stable surface, well away from drafts, curtains, children and pets

Snuff them out before leaving the room or going to sleep

The fireplace

Never burn gift wrappings, boxes, cartons, or other types of packing in the fireplace. They burn too rapidly and generate far too much heat

Don’t hang Christmas stockings from the mantle when the fireplace is in use

Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks

Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquids to start a fire

Use only seasoned and dried wood

Never leave the fire unattended or let it smolder

Clean the ashes regularly. Place the ashes in a metal container and store outside away from flammable materials

Don’t use Christmas trees for firewood

Electrical outlets

There is often a tendency to overload wall outlets during the holiday season. This is an unsafe practice and should be avoided even for short durations

Inspect all cords before using. Make sure they are CSA certified. Look for loose connections or frayed or exposed wires. Discard any defective cords. Read the labels and manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper use

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 carpets or rugs

Gift suggestions

Home smoke alarm

Carbon monoxide detector

Multi-purpose (ABC) fire extinguisher