Watch this NFPA video for help creating the holiday atmosphere you love, and the security of knowing you’re keeping yourself and your family and friends safer from fire.
Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer.
Picking the tree
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
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.
Lighting the tree
- Use lights that have the label of an independent 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.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas. 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 community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Many things in your home can catch on fire if they touch a flame or something hot.
Any open flame is dangerous. If possible, use battery-operated candles. If you use candles in your home, prevent a fire by making sure the below statements are true in your home!
- Put candles in sturdy holders.
- Place candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
- Make sure candles cannot be reached by children or pets.
- Blow out all candles if you leave the room, get sleepy, or go to bed.
Source for Content: U.S. Fire Administration
Smart phone chargers can and do cause fires! Look closely at this charger cord. The phone end was frayed, a condition all too typical of these popular devices. It was not plugged in to the phone at the time that it was discovered burning. This one was inside an automobile plugged into the car charger and laying idle on the console. This same thing can very easily occur in a house. These devices easily carry enough electrical current to start a fire! Always replace damaged or frayed charger cords. Never leave them plugged in when not in use. And never lay a charging phone on easily combustible surfaces, such as pillows, beds, couches or similar.
In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy. That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan.