As more people are plugging in their lights and getting ready for the festive season, the Lloydminster Fire Department is reminding residents to think about fire safety.

With real Christmas trees rising in popularity, Assistant Fire Chief Bill Heesing says it could be a safety concern. A recommendation is to water the tree daily and to cut off two to three inches off the base to ensure the water can get into the tree. He says people should keep candles away from them and to be careful with lights.

“Follow the instructions on the lights. When you are away from the tree or going to bed at night or going away for the Christmas season please unplug your lights or turn off your lights for your tree.”

Outdoor lights should be plugged into a power bar and older lights should be replaced as soon as possible as they could be a potential hazard.

It’s a busy time of year with families visiting for the holidays so there can be a lot of action in the kitchen. Heesing recommends keeping an eye on pots and keeping young children away from stoves and hot surfaces.

“It’s a busy time of year and people are distracted. It could be a cooking incident or a kitchen fire. If it’s a grease fire or oil fire, do not use water on it. Cover it with a lid or wet towel. Boiling oil or grease fires spread quite quickly and turn into a large fire.”

Heesing asks residents to clear the snow from the fire hydrants near their homes so the fire department has easier access to them.

“It helps us out by shovelling a three-foot area around the hydrant so if an emergency is to happen we can access that fire hydrant. It helps us with our job if we can see and have access to the fire hydrant when dealing with a fire in the neighbourhood.”

People leaving the city for the holidays should do a walkthrough of their space and ensure all plug-ins have been shut off, double-check to make sure the chimney is clear and the furnace has been inspected.

Heesing says people are more than welcome to give them a call if they have any fire safety questions.