Robert B. Lay, Fire Chief
Public Safety Building
181 Main St
Groveland, MA 01834
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Groveland Fire Department Urges Holiday Decor Safety
Indoor Extension Cord Used Outdoors Blamed for Fire Outside Main Street House on Wednesday Evening
GROVELAND – Chief Robert Lay and the Groveland Fire Department are urging holiday safety and holiday decorating safety today after firefighters responded to a fire at a Main Street house on Wednesday that is being blamed on an overloaded and improper extension cord.
“The holidays are a festive and wonderful time of year where we come together to celebrate,” Chief Lay said. “We want to remind all residents to celebrate safely — this means using properly rated electrical wires and outlets and using best safety practices when putting together annual big holiday meals.”
Firefighters responded Wednesday evening after a passing motorist noticed a fire burning in the bushes of a home on Main Street. The passerby ran up to the house and unplugged the Christmas decorations, and the fire was quickly put out with no damage to the home. The fire is under investigation, but Chief Lay says that there are clear indications of electrical overload, including the use of an “indoor only” extension cord outside.
In addition to holiday lights, according to the National Fire Protection Association, two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles and nearly half of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.
In order to keep your home safe from fire during the holiday season this year, Chief Lay recommends residents consider the following safety tips outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Water fresh Christmas trees daily, and keep them away from heaters, fireplaces and candles.
- Turn off holiday lights when you leave the house or go to bed.
- Always blow out candles before leaving a room or going to sleep. Be sure to burn candles inside a one-foot “circle of safety”, free of anything that can catch fire.
- Never leave cooking unattended and keep a timer with you when baking. If a pan catches fire, put a lid on it to smother the flames and turn off the heat.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn like curtains, upholstery or holiday decorations.
- Keep matches and lighters out of sight and reach of children.
- Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with at least two ways out and a meeting place outdoors. In the event of a fire, get out and stay out of the house and call 911.
- Make sure all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are working.
- Use caution with extension cords. Don’t overload them and never put cords underneath rugs, as this can damage the cord and cause an electrical fire.
- If you or anyone in your family smokes, do so outside with a proper ash tray to dispose of cigarettes.
For more information on holiday safety tips, visit the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services’ website or contact the Groveland Fire Department at 978-374-1922.