December 19, 2018
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service holiday fire prevention tips
Released: 10:00 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service would like share some tips to help you minimize the risk of a fire in your home and make your holiday season enjoyable and safe.
Lights and Decorations
It’s always fun to deck the halls and trim the tree during the holiday season. But some lights and decorations can be dangerous if not used carefully. Here are some tips for ensuring your decorations stay decorative, not destructive:
- Always use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved holiday lights.
- Check the bulbs, sockets, wires and plugs on your lights to ensure that nothing is cracked, broken or exposed.
- Replace any missing bulbs on your holiday lights and ensure you are using the proper type of lights for your display (indoor or outdoor).
- Ensure extension cords are in good condition and do not overload electric outlets.
- Read the manufacturer instructions for information on the maximum number of light strands to connect.
- Do not use lights on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and injure anyone who comes into contact with it.
- Make sure to turn off all interior and exterior Christmas lights before going to sleep and whenever you are leaving your home.
- Use only non-flammable or flame-retardant decorations, and make sure to place decorations away from heat vents and potential sources of ignition such as fireplaces.
There’s nothing more festive than the scent of your Christmas tree throughout your home during the holiday season. But if you don’t take proper precautions, a natural Christmas tree can easily catch fire and rapidly fill a room with flames and deadly gases. Here are some tips for avoiding a dangerous tree situation this holiday season:
- Choose a tree that is fresh, meaning that its needles are green, hard to pull from its branches, and not easily broken. The tree trunk should be sticky to the touch. Avoid old trees, which are dried out and therefore fire hazards. Shake the tree trunk; if many needles fall off, the tree has probably dried out.
- Add water to the tree strand and be sure to add water daily.
- When your tree becomes dry (losing its needles quickly), discard it promptly.
- Keep your tree at least three (3) feet away from all heat sources, such as fireplaces, spotlights and heat vents. Heat can dry out the tree, causing it to be easily ignited by heat, flames, or sparks.
- Keep cigarettes and candles away from your tree.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Do not dispose of tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove and instead use the City’s Let’s Chip In program.
Candles can be great for adding a festive feel to your home, but don’t forget to practice safe handling techniques when using them. Some tips for using candles cautiously are:
- Never leave lit candles unattended.
- Use approved non-combustible candleholders or bases, and place candleholders on a firm, non-slip surface.
- Avoid putting lit candles in a drafty area to prevent uneven burning and wax dripping.
- Extinguish a candle when it burns down to within two inches of its holder or base.
- Keep candles away from any flammable materials, including Christmas trees, decorations, curtains, or other combustible material like bedding or cushions.
- Keep candles, matches and lighters out of the reach of children.
- Store candles in a cool, dark, dry place, and store candles flat to avoid warping.
- Refrigerating candles before burning makes them burn more slowly and evenly. Wrap candles in foil or plastic to prevent the wick from absorbing moisture.
- Keep wicks trimmed to half an inch and remove excess wax before storage. Long, crooked wicks can cause uneven burning and wax drippings
Test your smoke alarms and inform guests about your home fire escape plan!
Always remember – the single most important piece of information we need when someone calls 911 is the address of the emergency. During the holidays, whether you’re running errands or visiting family or friends, it’s always important to know your location. An address can come in many forms including a proper street address, an intersection, or a common name place such as a mall or landmark.
It’s a common misconception that responders can accurately track the location of a call made from a cell phone. In fact, we receive an approximate location from your cell phone but the accuracy of that location can vary based on a number of factors. This is why it’s important to provide us with an address or details of where the emergency may be.
For more information on fire prevention, visit City of Winnipeg – Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.
Find winter fun for everyone in Winnipeg parks
Released: 11:00 a.m.
Winnipeg, MB – There are numerous opportunities available to enjoy outdoor activities at City of Winnipeg parks and facilities this holiday season. The City offers a wide range of outdoor amenities and locations for winter activities, sure to be fun for everyone.
Winter park amenities include skating ponds, neighbourhood pleasure rinks, toboggan slides and hills, as well as park trails.
Kildonan Park, Bunn’s Creek Park, St. Vital Park, Crescent Drive Park and Fraser’s Grove Park will have their toboggan slides open to the public for the holidays. Toboggan hills are open. Please use toboggan slides at your own risk.
For more information, visit: City of Winnipeg – Toboggan Hills & Slides in Winnipeg Parks
Enjoy one of the City’s various outdoor skating ponds and pleasure skating rinks. For more information about locations and hours of operation, visit City of Winnipeg – Park Skating Ponds.
Enjoy a refreshing walk in the winter wonderland. Visit City of Winnipeg – Trails and Pathways for more information.