The holiday season is close upon us. This is a time of joy but there is also an element of danger. To keep your holiday season joyful, we would like to take a few moments to discuss important safety issues.
Christmas along with Hanukkah is undoubtedly the highlight of the holiday season. Gatherings of people, food, drink, clothing, candles, decorations, and the fireplace are all part of these events. New Year’s comes right around the corner and we are all exhausted. The issue of our personal and loved ones' safety tends to take a back seat to all of this celebration.
Holiday safety should be part of our planning when preparing for these festive days. This article has been prepared with the hope that the information presented will make your holiday season remembered for its joyfulness and not for its tragedy.
- Be sure to test your smoke detectors.
- Clean the oven and range prior to the holidays. Often the extra load on these appliances causes a fire due to the high use and extra grease build-up.
- Keep kitchen clutter away from the range and oven.
- Be extra careful with matches and candles. Candles should be made of flame retarding materials - look for a label stating such.
- Always place candles in noncombustible containers.
- Avoid loose, flammable clothing. Clothing often catches on fire around candles, matches, fireplaces, and ranges (both electric and gas).
- Keep decorations away from sources of heat such as open flames, electric heaters, and exposed electric bulbs.
Christmas Trees Checklist
- Keep your Christmas tree in a sturdy base filled with water and check the water level daily.
- Spray the Christmas tree with a flame retardant.
- Make a fresh cut on the trunk of your tree and place it in a sturdy holder.
- Place the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and heaters.
- Do not use candles on or near the tree.
- Safely dispose of your tree before it becomes dangerously dry, however never burn your tree or tree parts in the fireplace.
Christmas Lights Checklist
- Purchase only UL-approved lights.
- Check all indoor and outdoor lights for frayed cords, and replace them if necessary.
- Never use lights that have an empty socket.
- Lights should not touch combustible materials.
- Use only outdoor lights for “outdoors”.
- Turn off all Christmas lights prior to leaving your home or going to bed.
- Mini lights are safest because they produce less heat.
- Avoid using extension cords, but if you do follow instructions carefully.
- Do not overload electrical circuits, such as wall outlets and extension cords; use a circuit strip.
Gift Wrappings Checklist
- Keep combustible materials away from heat sources.
- Never burn wrappings in your fireplace.
If you would like additional fire prevention information, please contact the City of Carbondale Fire Department at 618-457-3234.