HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY TIPS…
Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage.
Christmas Tree Fire Hazards
- Select freshly cut trees, the trunk should be sticky to the touch, the needles should be green and hard to pull back from the branches.
- Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
- Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases. The following link demonstrates how fast a live Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames. http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/holiday-seasonal/treefire.shtm
- Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.
- Do not overload your electrical outlets by linking more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.
- Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.
- Use only nonflammable decorations or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
- Artificial Christmas trees should be flame retardant
- Avoid using lit candles, but if you do use them make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over. Never leave the house with candles burning.
Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all time. And remember to practice your home escape plan.
Have a happy safe holiday season!
Courtesy of the Board of Directors,
staff and firefighters of the Berthoud Fire