Winter Fire Safety
With the holidays coming, people will celebrate, socialize, and relax. Unfortunately, the merriment of the holiday season can be ruined by the tragedy of fire. Below are some tips to help ensure your holidays are safe.
- If you buy a real Christmas tree, make sure it is fresh.Check the branches for browning.Shake the tree; if more than a few needles fall off, the tree is already dry and might catch fire easily.
- Put the tree in a sturdy stand and fill it to the top with water or wet sand.You will need to add more water every day or so.Do not place the tree near a fireplace or radiator.Do not block a stairway or door because if the tree did catch on fire, you might not be able to get out of the house.
- If you buy an artificial Christmas tree, get one with a certified UL label. This indicates that it has been tested for safety by Underwriters Laboratories.
- Never use candles on or near any Christmas tree and do not smoke near the tree.
- Before putting electric lights on the tree, check the wires carefully.If they are frayed or if the bulbs are loose, buy new lights. Old Christmas lights can be recycled at Village Hall.
- When you leave the house or go to bed, unplug all electrical decorations. Make sure you do not plug too many devices into the same electrical socket, as this is a major cause of holiday fires.
- Christmas decorations are pretty, but should also be as safe as possible. Be sure that all of your decorations are flame resistant.
- Never burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. The inks used in wrapping paper, newspaper inserts, and magazines contain metals that can give off toxic fumes when burned. As paper burns very quickly, there is a danger that flames may enter the chimney and ignite the creosote deposits in the flue resulting in a chimney fire.