|How to Have a Fire Safe Holiday Season
From Fairfax County, Virginia Fire and Rescue Education web page
Every year, we respond to tragic incidents where people suffer injuries, burns, and even death due to carelessness with holiday decorations. Trees, lights, ornaments, and fireplaces produce extra hazards in your home at a time when hectic activity distracts your attention from fire safety.
Here are some safety tips from the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department to ensure that we will not make an unplanned visit to your home this holiday season:
• Make sure your natural tree is a fresh one. Fresh needles won't break when you bend them. Once you get your fresh tree home, cut off one to two inches of the trunk and place it in a stable holder. Keep the holder full of water, and the tree away from sources of heat, to keep your tree from drying out.
• Use only flame-proof decorations, and check the wiring on all your electrical decorations before you put them up. Avoid using extension cords to run your electrical decorations. Make sure your electrical decorations are tested and labeled.
• Don't use real candles as part of decorations.
• Don't use your fireplace as a disposal site for wrapping paper, boxes, or your tree. These items should be disposed of properly with your normal trash.
• Keep an extra eye on friends and family members who smoke. Make sure that ashes and lit cigarettes don't fall onto chairs, gifts, or wrapping paper. Don't empty cigarette ashtrays into the trash.
• Take an extra minute to ensure all your home fire safety devices are prepared for the holidays. Clean and test your smoke alarm and make sure your portable fire extinguisher is pressurized and not blocked by all the extra holiday packages.
Have a happy and safe holiday season!
For more information on this or other safety issues, please contact the Public Affairs and Life Safety Education Section at
703-246-3801 or TTY 711.