Keeping Safe This Holiday
By Rural Metro
Rural Metro Fire Department wants everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season. Here are a few reminders to keep you and your family safe this holiday.
Live Tree Vs. Lot Tree
Who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree? Consider purchasing a live tree instead of a cut tree from a tree lot. Live trees will last longer and are less likely to dry out, becoming a fire hazard. Plus, you can plant it once the season is over.
If you purchase a tree from a lot, look for one that is as fresh as possible. Check the trunk and test for a slight stickiness, indicating a fresher cut. Gently, grab a branch near the trunk and pull your hand toward the outside, the needles should stay in place. Or stand the tree up and gently tap the cut end on the ground a few times. A few needles are OK, but a lot of falling needles are not.
Have the lot cut off about ½ an inch at the trunk. This will allow the tree to absorb more water. Get the tree in water as soon as possible and WATER IT DAILY!
Lights make the tree! Check to make sure the lights you are using are rated for indoor use. Inspect all strings to make sure there are NO broken or exposed wires.
Choose LED lights which produce less heat than incandescent bulbs and consume less energy.
Use extension cords rated for their application. Check for indoor and outdoor use and choose a grounded cord and GFI outlet for outdoor lights.
NEVER overload an outlet or circuit with multiple strands of lights or other electrically operated decorations.
IF YOU SMELL AN ELECTRICAL ODOR, CALL 911 and EVACUATE. Turn off the main power to the home. Allow the Fire Department check your home for possible origins.
Candles… Candles … Candles
Candles may bring holiday cheer and reminiscence, but applying some simple guidelines will keep the lighted glow to a minimum.
NEVER leave a candle unattended when you leave the room, leave home or go to bed.
Locate candles on non-flammable surfaces, away from curtains, fabrics, and other combustible materials. Make sure nothing above the candle will be heated to the point of ignition.
Consider using battery operated candles in place of traditional candles.
Prevent candles from being knocked over by kids or pets, by considering location as part of your safety plan.
Burning the Yule Log
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire….nothing says holidays like a cozy fire in the fireplace. If your home has a fireplace, knowing the dangers is a must.
- NEVER leave children alone near a lit fireplace. Open flames may be too great a temptation for children to play with fire. A wood or gas fireplace can create extremely hot surfaces. Keeping kids away prevents accidental burns.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned prior to use to avoid a chimney or attic fire.
- Stockings hung by the chimney with care… keeps them away from open flame and excess heat.
- NEVER leave a fire burning when you leave home or go to bed!
- Create a safe zone around your fireplace, free from presents, trees, and other flammable material.
A safe holiday season begins with proper planning. Take time to develop an escape plan with your family, in case of emergency. Designate a meeting place outside your home and make sure everyone knows at least 2 ways out of the house. It’s a great time to test fire alarms and replace them if they are more than 10 years old. Give you and your family the gift of safety this year.
Rural Metro Fire Department wishes everyone a SAFE and HAPPY Holiday season.