How to have a fire-safe holiday

It’s the image played in humorous Christmas movies over and over again — a Christmas tree on fire resulting in the home going up in flames.

By Jasmine Franklin

It’s the image played in humorous Christmas movies over and over again — a Christmas tree on fire resulting in the home going up in flames.

As funny as the chaos is in film, Ponoka residents are being reminded to take fire precaution around the Christmas season during National Home Fire Safety Week Nov. 24 to 30.

“The winter holiday time is a very high-risk period for fire,” said Donna Noble, Ponoka’s fire prevention co-ordinator. “There’s a significant increase in candle-related fires.”

With the holiday season approaching filled with baking and guests, fire risks tend to peak, but there are several ways to ensure a fire-proof Christmas.

The Christmas tree

When purchasing a real tree, be sure it is watered often making the tree less flammable.

“One way to test a tree for flammability is to take a pine needle and bend it in half,” Noble said. “If it snaps, it’s dry and flammable.”

Be sure to place the tree away from the fireplace and ensure it is not blocking any exits. All trees should be at least one metre away from flames or heat sources.

When purchasing an artificial tree, purchase one that is fire-resistant.


Christmas lights should be checked regularly for broken or cracked sockets and loose connections. Frayed cords should be replaced and be sure to unplug all lights before leaving the house or going to sleep.

Noble stressed that candles should not be used to decorate the tree.


Never leave burning candles unattended and secure them in holders or stable surfaces away from children, trees, curtains or any flammable objects.


Noble said unattended cooking is something has proven to be a big risk. While cooking, avoid wearing loose clothing that may catch on fire, make sure things like paper towels are kept away from the stove and never leave cooking unattended.

In case of a stove fire, do not turn on the overhead fan as it could spread fire.

As for general fire safety, check all fire alarms to ensure they’re working and turned on and Noble said to inform everyone about a fire escape plan — something people most often neglect to do.

Ashtrays are also an important asset when having people in your home. Have deep ashtrays easily accessible so items such as flower pots are avoided to be used.

Driving during the holiday season is also an important factor to consider.

“Take your time and adjust to the driving conditions,” Noble said. “Especially in the first few snowfalls, allow yourself that extra time.”

Wildlife crossing the road is also a factor that should be taken into consideration

Just Posted

Break and enter to Ponoka farm home while resident was inside

Caucasian suspects quickly entered the home and stole several items Tuesday afternoon

Grand trip for tournament was an epic experience for Lacoka midget squad

Girls from Ponoka, Lacombe area take in sights, sounds of Toronto while winning bronze

Alberta bison producers showcase growing industry in Ponoka

Annual conference, meeting plus show and sale highlight industry on the move

Provincials proved challenging for Ponoka’s atom McDonalds

The team left provincials with a win and a strong spirit of teamwork

Tax rates stay the same in Ponoka County

Surplus of $3.6 million a huge boost to absorbing higher expenses this year

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Ice fisherman hooks massive catch from Sylvan Lake

Ron Rivard potentially holds the new Alberta record with the 43 inch jackfish

10-15 cm expected for parts of Central/Northern Alberta

Lacombe and south can expect around 2-7 cm of snow today and into tonight

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Deadly crash raises questions about Uber self-driving system

The fatality prompted Uber to suspend all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto

Most Read