Kalamazoo, MI: Public Safety would like to remind citizens that the Winter Holidays are a time for heightened awareness for the dangers of fire. December is the peak time of year for Christmas tree fires, home candle fires, cooking fires, and space heater fires. Below is a list of safety tips to help us stay safe this Holiday Season.
- According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 1 of 3 home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
- Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.
- One-third of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
- Take care when choosing a live Christmas tree. Do not purchase one that’s dry or losing its needles. Set the tree in a large, tip-proof stand, away from heat sources and exits, and water it daily. Keep presents away from hot tree lights.
- Carefully inspect decorative lights for worn or frayed cords before use. Only purchase lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab (such as U.L.) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance.
- Always unplug lights, both inside and outside, before leaving the house or going to bed.
- Choose flame-resistant, flame-retardant or non-combustible materials for holiday decorations whenever possible.
- When using candles, place them in large, tip-proof, heat resistant holders and keep them away from combustibles, children and pets.
- Take extra care when cooking. Never leave cooking unattended. Keep the stove area clean to avoid grease fires.
- Have your chimney and furnace professionally inspected and cleaned. Don’t burn gift-wrappings in the fireplace, as this can cause chimney fires.
- If you have to use space heaters, keep them at least three feet from any combustible surface or material. Don’t let children near space heaters, and never use them when you are asleep.
- Smoke alarms should be placed in every sleeping room, common areas outside of sleeping area, and on every level of the home. Test your alarms monthly and replace batteries at least once a year.
By authority of: Sergeant David Juday
C.O.P.S. Division “Community Outreach Problem Solving”
Date: December 1st, 2016
Address: 150 E. Crosstown Pkwy., Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Contact: Captain David Boysen, 269-337-8880