The Estevan Fire and Rescue wants to keep you and your family safe this Christmas season.
"When we're setting up our Christmas trees," shared Fire Chief Dale Feser, "the fire department does recommend using artificial trees over real trees just for the simple fact that they're a fairly high maintenance item when it comes to having them safely in your home. They require daily watering and monitoring. If you have a case where a Christmas tree should start on fire and it hasn't been watered, it can go up extremely quick."
He adds that if you do choose a real tree, ensure that you cut off two inches from the base of the tree so the water can be absorbed in the tree.
"Make sure that the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source and that is for both the real and artificial trees."
"Three feet away from any heat sources like fire places, radiators, candles, heat lamps, lights."
"Make sure that the tree isn't blocking any exits that should an emergency occur in the home, you can safely egress."
As for the lights on the trees, Chief Feser has some advice for that as well.
"You want to make sure that you are using indoor lights or lights that are designed for use on Christmas trees. You don't want to use an outdoor light application indoors especially near trees because they throw off a little more radiant heat than the average bulbs intended for that use would. That could definitely be an ignition source."
"Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets to a maximum of 50 bulbs. You always want to look at the manufacturer's recommendations after purchase. Any time you are using an extension cord, you want to make sure that the extension cord is indeed safe to use. Use a new extension cord if at all possible but it's not usually recommended."
"You never want to use lit candles or other open flame to decorate trees or around any other combustible, flammable items. Most importantly, please make sure that your Christmas lights are turned off before leaving home or going to bed.
He added that although they might not be needed as much this year, but residents should still be careful if they are using secondary heat appliance such as a space heater. Those appliance should be CSA approved, they are equipped with a 'tip-over device,' and they need to have three feet of clearance from any combustible, flammable item.