Happy safe holidays from the fire marshal
December 23, 2008
Christmas is a special time for celebration which should not end in tragedy because of the extra hazards that are present at this time of year.
Over the Christmas and New Year period people spend more time at home celebrating with friends and family, everyday fire risks increase. People are more likely to be distracted and therefore vulnerable to accidental fires. Christmas trees, fairy lights, candles, smoking and cooking all pose fire risks during the holiday period.
By taking a few simple steps this Christmas, the risk of fire around the home can be reduced, enabling everyone to enjoy a happy and fire safe Christmas.
Holiday safety tips
∞ Ensure there is a working smoke detector installed in your home.
∞ Always choose a freshly cut tree. To test a tree, strike the stump down on a firm
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surface. If the needles fall off, the tree is too dry. Place the tree in a stand which can be filled with water. The tree could absorb as much as a gallon of water in the first
∞ Use wire or nylon cord to secure the tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent it from being knocked over by children or pet.
∞ Place the tree well away from sparks and open flame.
∞ Always keep the tree well watered. Check and refill often.
∞ Use only non-combustible decorations.
∞ Check and replace any worn or damaged light sets.
∞ Use (UL) approved lights and NEVER USE CANDLES!
∞ Disconnect lights at bedtime or when unattended.
∞ Use miniature lights that produce less heat.
∞ Don’t burn tree branches in the fireplace – they can throw off large amounts of heat, causing fire.
∞ Check the maximum amps that can be handled by the fuse in the plug.
∞ If bulbs blow, replace them.
∞ Turn decorative lights off at night and when you go out.
∞ Don’t let bulbs touch anything that can burn easily like paper or fabrics.
∞ Don’t leave candles unattended.
∞ Put candles out completely at night.
∞ Keep candles away from anything that can catch fire, like Christmas trees.
∞ Make sure they’re in secure holders on a heat resistant surface.
∞ Use your common sense and keep decorations and greetings cards away from heaters, lights, the fireplace and candles.
∞ When out and about don’t drink and drive
∞ Buckle up
Have a safe Holiday
Grand Fire Protection District No. 1
Fire Marshal James L. Cautrell