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Fall/Winter Seasonal Tips

Keep safe this fall and winter. The Burnaby Fire Department has outlined the following tips for residents as they keep warm and enjoy the holiday season.

    Outdoor Winter Hazards

    Ask yourself: What has the weather been like in the last 24 hours?

    • Has it been windy, freezing, snowing, raining or sunny and warm?
    • In what condition are the walkways and roads near where I work and live?

    These questions can help us avoid and prevent injury.  

    Watch Out for Ice

    • In Fall and Winter, we experience the most hip, head, and wrist injuries from our seniors 
    • Watch for icy, uneven sidewalks, cracks and fallen loose debris
    • Coat walkways with salt or sand before it snows or freezes 
    • Shovel the snow as soon as possible and keep walkways clear of leaves and branches
    • If a seniors have a walking aid, make sure to use it, even if just walking a short distance from the house

    Don't Rush Yourself

    • Be aware of the conditions of walkways and roads, and slow down a bit because of these conditions
    • Make two or three trips to the car to carry in the groceries
    • Make sure your feet are firmly planted while lifting or moving snow or debris
    • Wear footwear that is appropriate to the weather

    Indoor Winter Hazards

    • Look for water on the floor that has dripped from your clothes of boots. Mop or clean up this water before someone slips! 
    • If you turn up the heat or add a log to the fire, remember to ask yourself: have these appliances had their cleaning, maintenance, and filters or flues checked?
    • When putting clothes in the dryer, think: Has the lint trap in the dryer been emptied? Empty it with every use
    • Be careful for electric heaters, especially those that do not turn off when knocked over. Turn them off when you leave the room or go to bed
    • Do not keep flammable materials closer than three feet to an electric heater
    • Do not overload electrical outlets
    • If the electricity goes out in our home, don't cook or heat your home with an outside barbeque. Monitor candles so that children, pets or winds won't knock them over. Never go to bed with a candle still burning

    Christmas Trees

    Natural Christmas Trees

    • Before buying a tree, test for freshness by tapping the base of the tree on the ground or pulling lightly on a limb. If many needles falloff or needles can be easily pulled off, the tree is too dry
    • Keep your tree as fresh as possible by placing the stump of the tree in a bucket of water outdoors until you are ready to decorate. Before setting up the tree inside the house, trim two inches off the stem diagonally so it can absorb water. Mount the tree securely in a large, wide based reservoir stand and add water each day to ensure the tree is well watered
    • Choose a suitable location for your tree, ensuring that it is well away from heating sources and clear of all exits

    Artificial Trees

    • Though fireproof, metal or aluminum trees are electrically conductive and cannot be decorated with any electrical product. The metal can cause a short and a fire, or simply become "hot" or deliver a nasty shock. Aluminum trees can be illuminated by a colourful spotlight placed a safe distance from the tree, as set out in the manufacturer's instructions


    • Never use lit candles as decorations on Christmas trees
    • Place candles in non-tip candle holders and ensure they are well away from the Christmas tree or other combustible materials
    • Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure that they are always out of the reach of children
    • Teach your children that matches and lighters are tools, not toys 
    • Store matches and lighters where children can't reach them

    Indoor Lights and Electrical Decorations

    • Examine light strings, cords, plugs and receptacles before using. Discard any that have frayed cords, cracks in the lamp holders, or loose connections
    • Do not overload electrical circuits or extension cords, and follow instructions on cord labels regarding connecting light strings to extension cords
    • Always unplug the light string before attempting to replace a bulb
    • Avoid using timers on indoor lights. Tree lights could turn on when no one is at home and create a potential fire hazard.  Always turn Christmas lights off before leaving home or going to sleep
    • Spring/Summer Tips

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    • Fire Prevention

      Fire PreventionMoreKeep your building safe from fire.

    • Home Safety

      Home SafetyMore Do you have a smoke alarm and a fire escape plan?
    • Community Initiatives

      Community ProgramsMore Learn about the BFD's public education initiatives.