Holiday Safety

Holiday Safety

Christmas tree safety
When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." Although this label does not mean the tree won't catch fire, it does indicate the tree will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green; needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.

When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and radiators. Because heated rooms will dry out live trees rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Place the tree out of the way of foot traffic and do not block doorways.

Tree Disposal
Trees are an integral part of holiday celebrations, but what to do with them when Christmas is over? Leaving them on sidewalks/boulevards interferes with pedestrian traffic and impedes vehicle sightlines. Because the City is not responsible for disposing of Christmas trees, here are a few options:

  • Trees may be taken to the Church Road Transfer Station for disposal.
  • Service groups may hold fundraising chipping events; watch PQB News for notices.
  • Check the classifieds for individuals/companies offering disposal services.
Store tree on your property to be included with the City’s spring wood chipping program

How to have a spooky but safe Halloween
Jack-o'-lanterns, paper spiders, and dried cornstalks are hallmarks of Halloween. Unfortunately, these spooky symbols also can present lurking fire risks that have the potential to become truly scary. Learn these simple ways to ensure your Halloween holiday is safe, festive, and fun!

Choose Halloween costumes, wigs and accessories that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant. Avoid costumes with long trailing pieces that may easily ignite. When constructing a costume for children, always keep fire safety in mind.

Educate children to stay clear of open flames and other heat sources. Ensure that children know how to perform STOP, DROP and ROLL should their clothes catch on fire.

If your clothes catch on fire:

  • STOP immediately
  • DROP to the ground and cover your face with your hands
  • ROLL over and over to extinguish the flames


  • Use flashlights and battery-operated candles instead of decorating with candles, and keep candles away from anything that can burn.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended or burn candles for more than four hours.
  • Cut candle wicks short to prevent high flame and use long matches to light candles.
  • Keep candles, matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.

Ensure that combustible Halloween decorations such as crepe paper, cornstalks and dried flowers are kept well away from sources of heat. Keep all exits clear of decorating materials.

Practice fire safety during any festive season!

  • Water fresh christmas trees daily or keep the base of the trunk in water at all times.
  • Check your sets of lights before decorating.
  • Make sure smoke alarms are working.
  • Make sure you have working carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Make sure you have a fire escape plan in place.
  • Use extension cords wisely. Don’t overcrowd power bars or electrical outlets.
  • Give space heaters, space. Keep them at least one metre away from anything that can burn.
  • When you go out, blow out! Blow out all candles when leaving the room.
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children.
  • Watch what you heat! Always stay in the kitchen while cooking.
  • Encourage smokers to smoke outside.
  • Make sure you and your guests drink responsibly to avoid preventable accidents.