Calgary Fire Department Encourages Christmas Tree Safety
As Calgarians celebrate the holiday season by putting up Christmas trees and trimming them with lights, the Calgary Fire Department would like to remind residents to continue to be diligent about fire safety. Even at this time of celebration, there are still inherent risks.
“Live Christmas trees are really festive – and a popular holiday tradition this time of year,” said Carol Henke, Calgary Fire Department Public Information Officer. “However, if they dry out or are left close to a heat source, such as a heater, fireplace or candles, they can be a fire hazard.”
Calgarians are encouraged to follow some basic safety tips to help enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.
Picking and putting up the tree:
- Choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
- Ensure the tree stays well-hydrated by cutting a few centimetres from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in its stand. Also use a tree stand with a broad base and a large reservoir for water.
- Make sure the tree is at least one metre feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
Trimming the tree:
- Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory and use as directed - never use indoor lights outside.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets or 50 bulbs for screw-in bulb sets in one outlet. Read the manufacturers’ instructions for the maximum number of LED light strands that can be connected.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
After the holidays, it is important to properly dispose of Christmas trees as they can be a dangerous fire hazard once they have dried up and lost their needles. The City of Calgary’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program offers pickup and temporary drop off locations. Visit www.calgary.ca/waste for more information.
The Calgary Fire Department is committed to serving the community through excellence in fire prevention, education, protection and safety.