The Holiday season is the ideal time to decorate and to cook. Garlands, a Christmas tree, and candles often adorn homes, and sweet scents envelop every room. This year, large gatherings will be permitted and this will highlight the importance of reminding Montrealers of the recommendations to help keep their Holidays safe. 

Montréal’s fire department (Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal) would like to remind you of the following safety tips:

Christmas tree (artificial or natural)

  • Install your tree far from heat sources (electric floor boards, space heaters, fireplace, etc.)
  • Turn off the Christmas lights in your tree before you go to bed, or leave your home. 
  • Cut around 1 cm off the base of your tree before placing it in a water-filled stand. 
  • Keep the stand filled with water at all times, in order to prevent your tree from drying out. 
  • After the Holidays, store your Christmas tree outdoors, in the shade, in order to prevent it from drying out until the scheduled collection date (click here for the schedule.)

Candles and lights

  • Turn off your indoor and outdoor decorative lights before you go to bed or leave your home. 
  • Place the candles out of the reach of children or animals, in a place where they are not at risk of being tipped over. 
  • Use a fireproof shield around your candles.
  • Put out all candles and turn off all lights before you go to bed or leave the room. 
  • Use a multi-outlet surge protector extension to plug various Christmas light sets or devices. 
  • Opt for battery-operated candles and LED lights.
  • Keep all decorations away from flames or heat sources such as light bulbs, light sets and space heaters, etc. 
  • Never place an open-flame candle in your Christmas tree. 

Emergency exits

Make sure that all of your home’s emergency exits, including windows and balconies remain visible and accessible, and that snow is cleared between every exit and the street. 

Fuel-powered appliances (natural gas, ethanol, fire wood, etc.)

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your sleeping area.
  • Place ashes outdoors to cool in a fireproof container, covered with a lid (far from combustible materials.) 
  • Keep the area around your fireplace or natural gas, propane, ethanol or wood-burning stove clear.

Smoke alarm

  • Make sure that you have a functioning smoke alarm on every floor, including the basement. The occupants of a dwelling unit or private residence have the obligation to maintain smoke alarms in good working order.
  • All residential buildings built before 1985 that do not have an electric smoke alarm must be equipped with smoke alarms powered by a long-lasting 10-year lithium battery. 
  • Buildings built after 1985 must be equipped with electric smoke alarms.


  • Use a timer to avoid forgetting meals that are cooking on the stovetop or in the oven. 
  • Never leave your stove unattended while cooking.
  • Make sure to turn off all cooking appliances before you leave the house.

Montréal’s fire department wishes you a happy and safe Holiday season!