Holiday Fire Safety Tips
Each holiday season, fire departments across the U.S. respond to an average of 230 home fires started with Christmas trees. Electrical failures or malfunctions are a factor in one third of all Christmas tree fires. Stay safe this holiday season by following a few simple safety tips.
- Live Christmas Trees:
- Buy a fresh tree – needles should not break off easily
- Place the tree at least 3 feet away from all heat sources
- Keep the tree in a water-filled stand and water daily. Brown needles or lots of fallen needles indicate a dangerously dried-out tree which should be discarded immediately. Watch the difference!
- Decorate with lights that have a label from a recognized testing laboratory. Throw away any lights with worn or broken cords or loose connections
- Never connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together
- Dispose of your live tree after the holiday or when it becomes dry
- Turn off all lights on your live tree before leaving home or going to bed
- Candles — add a festive feeling, and should be placed in stable holders and located away from curtains, drafts, pets and children. Never leave candles burning attended, even for a short time.
- Holiday lights — should be checked for fraying or broken wires and plugs. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when joining two or more strands together, as a fire hazard could result from overload. Enjoy indoor holiday lighting only while someone is home and turn off lights before going to bed at night.
- Fire extinguishers – keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher within easy reach. Extinguishers specifically formulated for grease and cooking fuel fires are available and can supplement an all-purpose extinguisher. To operate the extinguisher, use the P.A.S.S. method: Pull. Aim. Squeeze. Sweep.
- Smoke alarms – make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. Request a free Home Fire Safety Visit and we’ll install smoke alarms, as needed.
- Escape plan – having an escape plan is one of the most important measures to prevent death in a fire. Put your plan together today!
For more information, call the Spokane Valley Fire Department’s Prevention Division at 928-1700.