Fire Prevention & Education
Recognize the importance of fire safety in our homes. It is critically important to be highly alert to the fire dangers that exist during the holiday season and throughout the year. Each year fires during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage.
Fireplaces & Wood Stoves
- Have a certified chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney and fireplace or creosote build-up, cracks, crumbling bricks and obstructions.
- Place fireplace or wood stove ashes outdoors in a covered metal container at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
- Do not burn trash including gift wrapping. The wrapping may ignite suddenly and cause a flash fire.
- Portable heaters need at least 3 feet of empty space between the heater and everything else like furniture, curtains, papers, and people.
- Make sure the heater is UL approved and has a tip-over shut off function.
- Check the cord and make sure it is not frayed. If frayed, it is time for a new heater.
- Never use extension cords with portable heaters. It is a common cause of fire.
- An adult must always be present when a space heater is used around children.
- Always turn off portable heaters when family members leave the house or are sleeping.
- There are 300 fires and 30 injuries resulting from Christmas tree fires each year
- Trees need about an inch cut off the end of the trunk - this will remove the dried end and allow the tree to absorb water.
- Make sure and mount the tree securely and away from any combustible materials or heat sources such as fireplaces or candles
- Water the tree every day
- When the needles get brittle or dull and begin to fall from the tree, it is time for the tree to go back outside
- Use lights that are UL approved. Check every set of lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connect ions before using. Throw away anything that is not in perfect condition
- Use no more than three sets of lights per single extension. Follow the manufacturer's instructions
- Always turn off all tree lights and decorations before you go to bed or leave your home
Candles & Luminaries
- Never place a burning candle or luminaries near anything that can quickly ignite, such as curtains, Christmas trees, brush, etc.
- Always keep candles and luminaries away from children and pets as they could get burned if touched
- Never place candles or luminaries on combustible surfaces such as wood porches or near dry grass or leaves
- Never light luminaries during windy conditions where the bag can be ignited and burning debris could spread the fire
- Keep candles and luminaries away from other decorations
- Be sure candles have sturdy / stable bases and are placed where they cannot be bumped or brushed against
- Always monitor candles and luminaries when burning, never leave the room or go to bed without fully extinguishing the flame
- Working smoke alarms alert you to a fire and more than double your chances of surviving a fire
- Install smoke alarms in every home, on every level, outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom
- Test your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working
- Replace batteries twice a year when daylight savings occurs
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years or sooner if broken
- When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast
Have an Escape Plan
- It is essential to have an escape plan. It could mean life or death
- Plan your escape- know two ways out of every room
- Have a "safe" spot that everyone meets at across the street
- Practice at least once a month so everyone knows what to do if a fire does occur