A seasonal reminder from local fire departments – don’t play with fire

Dianne St. Jean
A seasonal reminder from local fire departments – don’t play with fire

The risk of fire increases over the winter season, and especially during Christmas time.

Local fire departments would like to remind residents to take extra caution during this time of year, especially with heating sources, electrical equipment, Christmas trees and candles.

Already this year there was an incident of a home fire in Valemount, the suspected culprit thought to be a space heater plugged in to an inadequate extension cord that overheated.

The fire occurred in a child’s bedroom, so thankfully no one was home at the time, and that it did not occur at night while the family was asleep. A mother and her two young children received aid from Emergency Social Services as the residence is no longer habitable. 

According to Valemount & District Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Rick Lalonde, about ten fire fighters attended the scene and quickly suppressed the fire.

Safety Tips

The Valemount and District Fire Rescue Department would like to remind the public of the following safety tips for the Season:

  • Never keep flammable materials near a wood or pellet burning appliance, and teach young children safety precautions near these heating sources.
  • Properly dispose of ashes in a metal container well away from other combustibles and not with other solid waste.
  • If you have a freshly cut Christmas tree, keep it well watered.
  • If you buy an artificial tree, be sure it is fire retardant.
  • Check Christmas lights for breaks, exposed wires, or loose connections.
  • Use either ULC, CSA, or ETEL approved electrical devices.
  • Keep flammable items at least one metre from space heaters, and never leave them unattended.
  • Never use lighted candles on or near a Christmas tree, and never go to bed with candles burning.
  • Test your smoke alarm once per month, and change the battery once per year.
  • Sleep with your bedroom door closed, because smoke can kill you before flames get near you.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher around, and learn how to use it.

The Valemount and District Fire Rescue Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season and urges everyone to please not hesitate to call 911 at any time should you suspect fire or that you may have a chimney fire.