Northshore Fire Department Tips for a warm and safe holiday season

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The holiday season is a time for family, friends and celebration. Make sure this is a happy season for all by putting safety at the top of your list. The Northshore Fire Department offers the following holiday safety tips, and urges the practice of fire safety all year long.

Holiday Tree Safety
Start with a fresh tree. Cut one yourself, or if buying from a lot select a deep‐green tree with flexible needles. Grab the branches; if the needles fall off in your hands the tree is too dry. 
Make a fresh cut. Upon getting home, cut 1 to 2” off the trunk and immediately place in water. Once the tree is placed in a stand in your home, continue to water DAILY. Most trees consume between a quart and a gallon of water each day.

Use your decorations carefully. Decorate your tree with UL‐approved, miniature lights – they produce less heat. Don’t overload electrical sockets and always unplug lights before going to bed or leaving your home. 

Recycle your tree properly. Periodically check your tree for freshness by grabbing the branches. If the needles fall off in your hand, your tree is dry and should be disposed of soon. When it’s time to dispose of your tree, NEVER burn it in a fireplace. The combination of oil, pitch and dry branches can ignite within seconds, sending sparks and flames into a room. 

Candles in Your Home 

Place your candles in a non‐flammable, well‐supported base.

Keep candles away from flammable decorations such as evergreen boughs, gift wrap and holiday stockings.

Never leave burning candles unattended. Extinguish them before leaving the house or going to bed. Also keep in mind that pets, especially cats, have been known to knock over candles. 

Gift Wrapping and Boxes 

Make sure that wrapped packages are kept away from fireplaces and woodstoves. 

Discard boxes and wrapping paper in a garbage container or recycle if possible. Do not burn wrapping paper in a fireplace.

Family Safety
Make a home fire escape plan and practice it. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in the sleeping areas. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly.

The Northshore Fire Department wishes you a warm and safe holiday season. For more holiday safety tips, visit the website.  


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