Holiday And Christmas Tree Fire Safety

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season.  Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire.  Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy.  Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home.  Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees.

“Keep the tree watered.” Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires.  Well-watered trees are not a problem.  A dry and neglected tree can be. Selecting a Tree for the Holidays – Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut.  The trunk should be sticky to the touch.  Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground.  If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and has probably dried out and is a fire hazard.

Caring for Your Tree – Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent.  The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heart, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.  Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.  Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.  When Disposing of your Tree, never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.  When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.

Maintain Your Holiday Lights – Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets – Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe.  Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.  Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.

Never Put Wrapping Paper in the Fireplace – Wrapping paper in the fireplace can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire. Avoid Using Lit Candles. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.

If You Do Use Lit Candles – Make sure candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.  Keep candles at least 12 inches from anything that can burn.  Never leave a room or go to bed with candles burning.

Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree – Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season
From the Menands Fire Department.

Fire Prevention Week 10/7/12 – 10/13/12

Fire Prevention Week is Oct 7-12 Please take time this week to go over fire safety with your family. Check your smoke detector batteries, have and practice your fire escape plan. Friday 10/12/12 The Menands Fire Department will be at the Menands School doing presentations for K to 2nd grades. Kindergarten starts at 8:40 – 9:10. First grade starts at 9:15 – 9:45 and Second grade starts at 10:00 – 10:30. The fire drill will be at 10:40 with us and the Schuyler Heights FD.
We will be holding our open house on Saturday 10/13/12 at the Fall Festival up at the park.