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Fire Tips for the Holiday Season

December 7, 2012

Following the recent string of home fires, the State Fire Marshal’s office is reminding residents to be fire safe with holiday decorations this season, especially Christmas trees.

If your home has a natural tree, be sure to keep it well-watered. State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy says “It takes only seconds for a tree to ignite and the entire room to become engulfed in flames”.

  • Select a tree for the holiday. Needles should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
  • Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep them away from heat sources like fireplaces and vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited.
  • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
  • Inspect lights each year for frays or broken bulbs, and make sure not to overload electrical outlets.
  • All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame-retardant.

Duffy says that by following these tips, you can ensure a safe and happy holiday.

Wa Fire

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