Fire Safety Tips This Holiday Season

The Saint John Fire Department would like to remind everyone of some basic measures you can take to keep your home and family safe from fire this holiday season.


Get a freshly cut tree. It will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard. Try to pick a tree with a strong green colour and noticeable fragrance;
Always test for freshness before buying. A tree with high moisture content is safer. Very few needles should fall when the butt of the tree is tapped on the ground; needles should bend, not break; and the stump should be sticky with resin;
Place the tree in a stand that will hold 2 to 3 litres of water and top it up daily. Make sure it is always immersed in water: If water drops below the trunk, the stem may reseal itself, requiring a fresh cut. Use a tree stand that has widespread legs for better balance;
Do not set your tree up near a heat source such as a radiator, television, fireplace, heating duct or sunny window. It should not block doors. Never use lighted candles on the tree;
Remove the tree within 10 to 14 days. After that amount of time in a heated building, even the freshest tree can start to dry out.


Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive;
If there are young children or pets in your home, avoid very small decorations;
Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with spray-on snowflakes. This combination is highly combustible;
Do not use metallic ornaments on the tree. If they make contact with defective wiring they could become a shock hazard.


Use Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certified light strings/sets;
Use the proper lights for the environment. Indoor light strings/sets should not be used outdoors. Some outdoor light strings/sets burn too hot for indoors; Inspect light strings/set before use. Check for cracked bulbs and for frayed, broken, or exposed wires, and discard if faulty;
Do not use electric light strings/sets on metallic trees. A faulty system could energize the tree and shock or electrocute anyone coming into contact. Illuminate metallic trees with colored floodlights placed at a safe distance from the tree and out of reach;
Turn off all tree and display lights before retiring for the night or before leaving the house.

Smoke alarms

Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan;
Properly functioning smoke alarms should be placed in every sleeping room and/or in the hallway directly adjacent to those rooms;
Bedroom doors should remain closed while sleeping.

For more tips on fire safety, please visit or contact the Saint John Fire Department fire prevention office at 658-2962.

Here to help – For inquiries related to municipal services, contact the City of Saint John Customer Service Centre at (506) 658-4455, email or visit us in person on the Ground Floor of City Hall, 15 Market Square, Monday to Friday (excluding holidays), 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The City of Saint John encourages residents to subscribe for emergency notifications as well as City news and information by visiting here.

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Giv'er Saint John
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Miramichi NB, E1N 3A6

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