Strathcona County wants to encourage everyone to have safety in the mind during the holidays.
 
One of the hazards they warn of is fireplaces.
 
"Whether it's a natural gas, a wood burning fireplace or a fire appliance, you want to ensure that they're being maintained so that we know it's safe and it's going to be used safely during the season," said Gordon George, safety and preparedness coordinator for Strathcona County.
 
Strathcona County had a few safety tips around fireplaces:
- Never burn gift wrapping, boxes, cartons or other types of packaging in the fireplace. They burn too rapidly and generate too much heat. 
- Don't hang Christmas stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use.
- Always use a screen in front of the fireplace to protect against flying sparks.
- Don't use Christmas trees for firewood.
- Ensure the fire is fully extinguished when leaving a room.
- Use a metal container when disposing embers. Do not dispose of them indoors or close to your home or another structure.
 
More holiday safety tips can be found here.
 
In 2017, there were 4,967 fires in Alberta resulting in 29 deaths and 164 injuries. Twenty-seven per cent of residential fires were caused by smoker’s materials, ignorance of a hazard, cooking oil or an electrical short circuit.

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