Safety and fire prevention - Have a fire-safe holiday

Each year, many tragic residential fires happen during the holiday season. Most can be prevented. To ensure your happy holiday doesn't turn into a disaster, you need to follow some extra important fire safety precautions.

Supervise children

  • Don't leave small children alone in the home - even for a moment.
  • Teach children to stay away from candles, fireplaces, trees and space heaters.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
  • Keep electric toys away from natural or artificial trees and paper decorations.
  • When buying presents for children, check for flame retardancy labels.

Christmas trees

  • Natural trees
    • Buy the freshest, greenest Christmas tree you can find.
    • Trees that are too dry have brittle branches that shed needles easily.
    • Test twigs and needles for flexibility. A dry tree will break, not bend.
    • Store the tree outdoors, preferably in shade, until you're ready to use it.
    • Cut one or two inches diagonally from the base of the tree.
      Mount the tree securely in a large reservoir type stand that includes a water receptacle at the base to keep bottom of tree submerged in water.
    • Add water each day, always keeping the water level of the reservoir above the cut.
    • Keep the tree away from candles, fireplaces, heating vents, radiators, television sets, or other sources of heat.
    • Make sure your tree doesn't block fire exits.
    • Keep a multi-purpose dry chemical fire extinguisher on hand.
    • Use decorations that are flame-resistant or non-combustible.
    • Turn light strings off before you go to bed and when you leave the house.
    • Discard the tree when it begins to turn brown or dry out.
  • Artificial trees
    • Artificial trees must have a fire-retardant label.
    • Metal or aluminum trees are conductors of electricity. Don't decorate them with strings of lights or with any electrical product .

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