Unfortunately, residential fires are all too common during the holiday season. Prevention is crucial and it starts with homeowners and renters taking a proactive approach to safety.
Always inspect Christmas lights before placing them on your tree or home. Even the slightest crack in the wire's insulation can cause a spark. When light sets get old, they can easily malfunction which may cause a fire. Older light sets should be thrown away.
Fir trees are extremely flammable and this is especially true when they have been in a home for several weeks. Christmas trees that catch fire can act like a blowtorch sending fire and smoke throughout a home in seconds. The best practice is to buy a tree that does not contain dry needles or branches. Better yet, get a fresh tree by cutting down your own. Most importantly, after you have it in your home keep your tree fresh by keeping it well watered.
Many times, people light so many candles in several different areas of the home that they forget how many they have lit and where they are in the home. If you use candles, make sure that you have a system in place to account for all of them and that they are completely out before going to bed or leaving your home. Christmas lights should also be turned off before going to bed or when the home is not occupied.
Most importantly, have a working smoke alarm. Most fatal residential fires occur in homes where there is no smoke alarm or the smoke alarm was not functioning because the battery was dead or had been taken out.
Taking these easy steps can prevent holiday tragedies.
Have a Happy Holiday Season
From the Silverton Fire District