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Fire Department/Emergency Preparedness

Posted on: December 8, 2021

Top Holiday Safety Tips To Keep You and Your Family Safe This Winter Holiday Season

Holiday Safety Tips image

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: 

  • 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.

 

Holiday entertaining:

  1. Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.

  2. Keep children and pets away from lit candles.

  3. Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.

  4. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.

  5. Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.

  6. Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

 

Holiday Tree Safety: 

1. Picking the tree:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

2. Placing the tree:

  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.

  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

3. Lighting the tree:

  • Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

  • 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.

  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. 

4. After Christmas and the holidays:

  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
  • Check with your local recycling program like Zero Waste Marin.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

For more safety tips, visit https://www.smfd.org/public-education/safety-tips

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