Reduce your risk of a fire during the holidays

During the busy holiday season, take a few minutes to look around your home and think about fire safety.

Lights and decorations

Before you put up any lights, check that the lights, sockets, wires, and plugs are not damaged.

Use indoor lights inside, outdoor ones outside, and make sure the lights are Canadian Standards Association (CSA) approved.

While many decorations need to be plugged in, don’t overload your electrical outlets.

Turn off your lights when you are going to sleep or leaving your home.

Try to use  decorations that are not likely to catch on fire and keep them away from heat sources like vents and fireplaces.


Candles can give your home a festive feel, but you should never burn them unattended or in a drafty area. Trim wick before lighting the candle.

When you do light candles, keep them away from decorations, Christmas trees, and out of reach of children or pets.

Store candles in a cool, dark, dry place. They may burn more slowly and evenly if you keep them in the refrigerator.

Christmas trees

If you get a real Christmas tree, pick a fresh one with green needles. The tree trunk should be sticky to the touch. If you shake the tree and a lot of needles fall off, the tree has probably dried out and should not be brought indoors.

When you put it up, your tree should be at least three feet away from all heat sources like vents and fireplaces. Don't block any exits with the tree either.

Make sure to water the tree daily. If you notice the tree drying up and losing needles quickly, it's a fire risk and you should remove it from your home.

Make sure to trim the tree using decorations that are not likely to catch on fire and turn off tree lights whenever you leave your home or go to sleep.

Recycle your tree

Once the holidays wind down, take your tree to one of our Let's Chip In depots. They are open December 27 until the end of January. Hours of the sites vary and in some cases are open 24 hours.

Remove all decorations, tinsel, and leave the stand at home. Leave only the tree at the depot.

The trees are then turned into wood chip mulch available for pick up from the temporary depots starting in early January while quantities last. The mulch is free but you have to bring your own container. Mulch is not available at the 4R Winnipeg Depots.

Once the temporary depots close on January 31, Christmas trees will continue to be collected year-round at the three 4R Winnipeg Depots.

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