A safe holiday season – A fire is not a gift

A safe holiday season – A fire is not a gift.

The holiday season is upon us and many Park-Extension residents will be celebrating some times using candles, lights and fireplaces which add that special feeling during the festive season.  In order to spend the Holidays safely, the Montreal Fire Department (SIM) provides practical advice for preventing fires and spending the Holidays peacefully.

 “Public safety is a priority throughout the year and the holiday season is no exception. During this time of celebration, I invite all Montrealers to become aware of the safety instructions issued by the SIM” said Alain Vaillancourt, head of public security on the executive committee of the City of Montreal.

Among the prevention measures that reduce the risk of fire and therefore the damage, injuries and deaths associated with it, the SIM offers the following advice:

Christmas tree (artificial and natural)

● Install your tree away from heat sources (electric baseboards, space heating, fireplace, etc.).

● Turn off the lights on your Christmas tree before you go to sleep and when you leave the house.

● Cut the base of your natural tree by about one centimeter before placing it in a container filled with water.

● Maintain a good level of water at the base of your natural tree at all times to prevent it from drying out.

● Store your natural tree outside and in the shade after the holiday season to prevent it from drying out until it is picked up during collection (see the schedule here).

Candles and lights

● Turn off the lights in your interior and exterior decorations before going to sleep and when you leave the house.

● Place candles out of the reach of children or animals and where they cannot be knocked over.

● Protect candle flames with an incombustible container.

● Extinguish all candles and lights before leaving a room or going to sleep.

● Use an extension cord equipped with an overcurrent protection system in order to connect several devices and/or sets of lights.

● Favor battery-operated candles as well as LED light displays.

● Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources such as light bulbs, string lights and heaters etc.

● Do not put open candles in Christmas trees.


● Use a timer so you don’t forget your dishes that are cooking on or in the stove.

● Supervise the stove at all times when preparing meals.

● Be sure to turn off all cooking appliances when you leave the house.

Emergency exits

● Make sure that all emergency exits, windows and balconies in your home are visible, accessible and cleared of snow to the public thoroughfare.

Fuel-burning appliance (natural gas, propane, ethanol, wood, etc.)

● Install a carbon monoxide alarm near sleeping areas.

● Leave the ashes from the fireplaces to cool outside for seven days before disposing of them in an incombustible container with a lid (away from combustible materials).

● Make sure that the area around the natural gas, propane, ethanol or wood fireplace or stove is clear.

 Smoke alarm

● Make sure you have one working smoke alarm per floor, including the basement. The responsibility for maintaining and maintaining in good condition the alarms installed inside dwellings, and in private residences, lies with the occupants of the premises.

● All residential buildings built before 1985 that are not equipped with electric type smoke alarms must now be equipped with smoke alarms with a 10-year non-removable long life lithium battery.

● Buildings built after 1985 must be equipped with electrical smoke detectors.

The SIM invites the population to be vigilant during this period of gatherings and celebrations because a fire can have significant consequences on people and homes.