Stay Fire Safe during the Holiday Season!


The Penticton Fire Department is reminding residents that the holiday season presents us with fire risks that can quickly turn this joyous time into a holiday tragedy.  More than two of every five (44 per cent) home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and approximately one-quarter (25 per cent) of the Christmas tree fires are caused by the tree being too close to a heat source.

“The holiday season is a time for family and friends,” says Fire Prevention Officer, Captain Mike Richards. “Avoid being a holiday statistic by following a few simple safety tips.”

  • Keep breakable tree ornaments and tinsel high on the tree out of reach of small children and pets.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or before going to bed.
  • Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Water fresh trees daily.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. Keep things that can catch fire like oven mitts, wooden utensils, food wrappers, and towels at least three feet away from the cooking area.
  • Always cook with a lid beside your pan. If you have a fire, slide the lid over the pan and turn off the burner. Let the pan cool.  For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • Keep children at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles, consider using battery operated candles.

For further information on holiday safety tips and other fire & life safety issues, contact Captain Richards at 250-490-2312 or email:




Mike Richards, Captain
Fire Prevention Officer
City of Penticton

Philip Cooper
Communication Manager
City of Penticton