Decorating our Lakeville homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, the delight of these holiday decorations also increases your chance of fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) each year, an estimated 240 home fires involving holiday trees and another 150 home fires involving holiday lights. These result in 21 deaths and $25.2 million in direct property damage.
Following a few simple fire safety tips can to keep electric lights, candles, and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy in your home. Practice good holiday fire safety in your home. If you needed more proof, check out this comparison video between a dry and moist Christmas tree. http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/media/drytreefire/comparison_wetdry.wmv
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
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. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
Do not leave holiday lights on unattended!
All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.
Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. Never leave a room or go to bed with candles burning.
Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.
By following this simple guidelines, you will have a happier and safer holiday season.
Holiday Fire Safety Tips from City of Savage…