DESPP OFFERS HOLIDAY FIRE SAFETY TIPS

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), Commission on Fire Prevention and Control, is urging all residents to check their homes to ensure a fire safe holiday season. 

“The holidays can quickly turn from joyful to tragic when a fire occurs,” said DESPP Commissioner Dora B. Schriro. “By taking simple precautions, we can all keep our families safe and sound throughout the holiday season.”

“Home fires during the holiday season often involve Christmas trees, candles and holiday decorations,” said State Fire Administrator Jeff Morrissette, “Recognizing the risk can greatly reduce the chance of a fire this holiday season and beyond.”

DESPP offers the following tips:

  • Check all lights for broken insulation or frayed wires.  Electrical lighting is a cause of most Christmas tree fires. 
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets and don’t run extension cords under rugs, across doorways or near heaters. 
  • When using candles, use a tip-proof candle holder and always blow out candles when you leave the room.  Unattended candles are the leading cause of candle fires.
  • Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh and water it every day.  Once the tree dries out, it becomes a significant fire hazard. 
  • Fireplaces should always be used with a screen to prevent sparks and embers from coming into the room. Dispose ashes from a spent fire in a covered metal container and store it at least ten feet away from your home.  Ashes can hold enough heat to ignite combustible items for several days.
  • Also, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly to ensure they are working properly.