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Tips For A Fire Safe Holiday Season

Each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,000 individuals and cause over $500 million in damage. The Tooele City Fire Department would like to offer some simple fire safe tips to ensure you have a happy and safe holiday season. By following these tips, you will greatly reduce your chance of becoming a holiday fire casualty.

Preventing Holiday Tree Fires

  • Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
    • Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull away from the branches. The needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk off the ground. If many needles fall off the tree, it has been cut too long and has probably dried out. This creates a fire hazard!
  • Caring for Your Tree
    • Be careful, not to place your tree to close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to more easily ignite. Be cautious, do not drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up to early or leave it up to long after the holiday. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
  • Disposing of Your Tree
    • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best ways to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or have it hauled away.

Holiday Lights

  • Maintain Your Holiday Lights
    • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
  • Do not Overload Electrical Outlets
    • Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an approved extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
  • Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended.
    • Holiday Decorations

      • Use only Nonflammable Decorations
        • All decorations should be flammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents and fireplaces.
      • Never Put Wrapping Paper in a Fireplace
        • It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical build-up in the home that could cause an explosion.

      Artificial Hoiday Trees

      • If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

      Use Candles With Care

      • Candles can be dangerous. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave burning candles unattended.