Fire Extinguisher : 101

Fire Extinguisher : 101

Tips for Holiday Fire Safety

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This article is intended to provide individuals with general information pertaining to holiday fire safety.

There is nothing more cozy or relaxing than curling up in front of a roaring fire next to a majestic Christmas tree all a-twinkle with lights and ornaments. The lights illuminate every tiny branch and the room becomes a veritable Christmas wonderland. It is easy to get caught up in the Christmas season with its hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking, and celebrating, but holiday fire safety is definitely one thing to keep close in mind during the most jovial time of the year.

Holiday Season Fires
Fires during the holiday season injure approximately 2600 people and cause over $930 million dollars in damage annually. So, while you are busy wrapping, carolling, and baking Christmas cookies, take some time to ensure that you have taken the proper steps towards Christmas fire safety.

Prevent Christmas Tree Fires

  • Christmas Fire SafetyConsider artificial Christmas trees to further reduce the risk of fire.
  • Always be sure that the tree you pick is freshly cut. Needles on fresh trees should be green, pliable, and firmly attached to the branches.
  • The trunk of the tree should be sticky to the touch. The tried-and-true tap test determines the freshness of a tree: bounce the bottom of the tree trunk on the ground, and if many needles fall off, your tree is not recently-cut and could pose a fire hazard.
  • Never place your Christmas tree close to any sort of heat source, and always keep the tree stand filled with water.
  • It is important not to put your Christmas tree up too early, or leave it up any longer than two weeks.

Christmas Tree Disposal
Holiday fire safety rules apply to the weeks following Christmas as well. When it is time to dispose of the tree, take it to a recycling center, or have it picked up by your local community pick-up service. Never put the tree, its branches or needles in your wood-burning stove or fireplace.

Holiday Lights and Decorations
The best way to avoid holiday fires is to make sure that all your decorative lights are well-maintained and never left on unattended. Inspect them carefully each year making sure to check for gaps in the insulation, cracked or broken sockets, frayed wires, and excessive wear and tear.

Do not overload electrical outlets. It is not advisable to link more than three strands of lights together unless the accompanying instructions indicate that it is safe to do so. Plug the strands of lights into an extension cord before plugging into the wall outlet. It is a good idea to check them periodically; they should not be warm to the touch. All ornaments and decorations, including artificial Christmas trees, should be flame-retardant and non-flammable. They should also be kept away from all heating vents.

Wrapping Paper
Holiday wrapping paper, although similar to newspaper, should never be burned in a fireplace. Some types can produce sparks and, at times, a chemical build-up that could potentially cause an explosion.

Lastly, as romantic as candles may be, they should never be placed on a Christmas tree. If they are used in other parts of your home as holiday decorations, be sure to place them in proper candleholders in a low-traffic area. Lit candles must never be left unattended.

Fire alarms should be tested and cleaned regularly. It is also recommended that an emergency escape plan be established and exercised, and that all members of the household know who to contact in the event of a fire. Following these simple holiday fire safety tips will ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season for everyone.

Written by John Manley
Having experienced 2 house fires, John Manley now devotes some of his spare time educating people about the importance of having fire extinguishers, CO and fire alarms, and proper escape plans though the website: Fire Extinguisher: 101 -



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