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.
- 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.
- 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 .