According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.
Holiday Decorating Tips:
- Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
- Keep live Christmas Trees watered.
- Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
- Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.
- Place all hot ashes in a metal container, take out of the house and store in a safe place in your yard (do not place against the house).
“We all enjoy this time of year of having holiday candles and stringed lights on”, says Brian M. Kelly, Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Coordinator of the Greenwich Fire Department. Just remember before heading to bed that you blow out all the candles and take turn off all stringed lights.
The NFPA reports that more than one-third of home decorations fires are started by candles. Also, more than two of every five decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heart source
The Greenwich Fire Department is currently seeking to increase the number of volunteer firefighters. Eighty percent of all fire personnel in Connecticut are volunteers, and the majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, people willing and able to respond to emergencies whenever called upon.
“The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others,” says Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment & Retention Coordinator Brian M. Kelly. “Those who join their local fire departments sign up for one of the most rewarding opportunities they’ll ever have.”