British Columbia

B.C. residents urged to prevent fires involving holiday decorations

British Columbia's Public Safety Ministry is warning that the risk of fire could be hidden beneath the sparkle of holiday decorations.

In past decade 113 Christmas-related fires in B.C. have caused more than $14.5M in damage

B.C. officials say keeping your tree watered and flammable materials away from heat and fire sources can help prevent fires. (Shutterstock)

British Columbia's Public Safety Ministry is warning that the risk of fire could be hidden beneath the sparkle of holiday decorations.

It says the Office of the Fire Commissioner has reported 113 Christmas-related fires in B.C. in the past decade, leading to multiple injuries, four deaths and more than $14.5 million in damage.

Jennifer Rice, the parliamentary secretary of Emergency Preparedness, says the office has also had reports of wreaths and boughs catching fire due to candles or improperly used lights.

She says that in one case, a person trying to burn their Christmas tree indoors caused a chimney fire.

Rice says everyone can reduce their risk of fire by keeping trees, wrapping paper, decorations and other material that can catch fire away from heat sources.

Real trees should be watered every day so they stay fresh, and flame-retardant or non-combustible decorations should be used, along with lights that have been tested and labelled by a certified testing laboratory.

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