Fire prevention important during holiday season

Fire prevention important during holiday season

MARQUETTE — Do you hear what I hear? Lets hope it’s not your fire alarm.

Christmas is the most decorative holiday of the year, but trees in the house can present serious fire safety issues.

Marquette Township Fire & Rescue Fireman, Robert Cochran said,” Christmas tree fires, although they are very rare, when they do happen they are very serious. Out of every reported Christmas tree fires in the home 1 out of every 34 results in a death. So with that said and done, you want to keep your tree well watered. The amount of stored energy in a dried Christmas tree is extremely high. With that being said, you don’t want your Christmas tree blocking exits, you don’t want it too close to a heat source. You definitely don’t want to have candles to light up your tree.”

Decorative lights, tree stands, electrical connections, and holiday bulbs should be inspected and handled carefully.

“In the event of a fire, immediately get out of the house and get everyone out of the house. Do not worry about pets, do not worry about anything, just get out of the house and then call 911. It is proven by The National Institute of Safety and Technology under the extreme conditions a dried Christmas tree can fully involve a room in less than a minute and a half”.

It is advised after Christmas to discard of your tree, for trees in the home still pose a serious fire threat even after the holidays. A full list of  NFPA Christmas tree fire safety tips can be found below:

The tree

  • pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Cut 2 inches off the tree trunk prior to placing the tree in the stand ( live trees)
  • keep the tree well watered
  • Keep at least 3 inches away from any heat source
  • ensure the tree is not blocking an exit

Lighting the tree

  • Use lights that have been independently tested
  • Check to ensure lights are rated for the application
  • Replace any string of lights with broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • NEVER use candles to light the tree
  • Turn off Christmas lights when unattended

After Christmas

  • Get rid of the tree
  • Dried out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, garage, or placed against the home

http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/seasonal/winter-holiday-safety/christmas-tree-fires/christmas-tree-safety-tips