Holiday Fire Safety

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Christmas-decoration400Enjoy Safe Holidays at Home this Year

 Nearly half of all fires related to Holiday decorations are caused by those decorations being too close to heat sources. As the colder weather that comes with the Holiday season approaches keep these few, but critical life-saving tips in mind:

  • Choose decorations for your home that are flame resistant or flame retardant
  • Connect no more than 3 strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 screw-in bulbs
  • Make sure that Christmas trees are at least 3 feet away from any heat source such as fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights 
  • Carbon monoxide is also a critical concern in the winter. Protect your home and your family by checking carbon monoxide detectors regularly to make sure they are in good working order.

Christmas Tree Safety

christmastreeChristmas trees account for approximately 200 fires each year, resulting in an average of 6 deaths, 16 injuries and more than $16 million in property damage.

Tree fires can be the result of shorts in electrical lights, proximity to heat sources and contact with open flames such as candles. Having a dry tree can increase the risk.

Certainly, having an artificial tree provides a safer alternative, but if you do have a live tree, be sure to purchase a fresh-cut tree by looking for these features:

  • Look for a tree that is completely green
  • Needles that are difficult to pull from branches and do not break when bent between fingers (when the trunk is bounced on the ground a shower of needles should not occur)
  • A trunk that is sticky with resin

Once you get the tree home, ensure your safety by closely following these important tips:

  • Stand the tree up in a bucket of water to maintain freshness until you are ready to set it up in your house
  • Before you bring it into your home, cut about 2 inches off the trunk
  • Mount the tree in a sturdy stand with wide spread legs on the base; use thin wire or fishing line to anchor large trees to a wall or ceiling to prevent it from toppling over
  • Place the tree at least 3 feet from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators or other heat sources
  • With the heat on in your home, your tree will likely dry out more rapidly so keep the basin filled with water at all times; think of the tree as a bouquet of flowers that you want to keep fresh
  • Do not rely on chemical coatings or sprays to fireproof trees
  • Never put lit candles on or near a tree
  • Check all strings of lights before putting them on your tree; look for frayed or split wiring
  • Test all lights before putting them on your tree
  • For more Holidays safety tips feel free to contact the Mount Prospect Fire Prevention Bureau at 847.818.5253.