Tips to avoid a burning holiday disaster: Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service

Christmas decorations adorn a tree.
Christmas decorations adorn a tree. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Service is reminding holiday decorators of the increased risk of house fires during the holiday season.

The WFPS says being educated on potential hazards can minimize the risk of house fires.

Holiday lights can pose ask a risk if bulbs appear cracked or show signs of exposed wires.

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They suggest turning off all interior and exterior holiday lights when leaving your home or before going to sleep.

If you’re displaying lights, WFPS say not to string them on metallic trees, as a faulty system could energize the tree and zap anyone who comes in contact.

For families who are setting up a natural tree, they say it can easily catch fire and quickly fill a room with flames and deadly gas if proper precautions aren’t taken.

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Choosing a tree that is fresh and free from brown, dried out needles can can prevent a major fire hazard.

WFPS say as soon as the three dries out, to dispose of it properly, by using the city’s scheduled Let’s Chip In program.

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Keeping your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, heat vents and candles is also a tip the city recommends.

The WFPS suggests placing your candle in the fridge before lighting it, as it burns slower and more even.

If a fire does arise, the city says to first always call 911 and be prepared to give your location.

The city says it’s a common misconception that fire crews can track the location of a call made from a cell phone.

For a full list of fire prevention tips, visit the City of Winnipeg website.