Timothy J. Grenno, Fire Chief
56 Temple St.
Whitman, MA 02382
For Immediate Release
Monday, Dec. 5, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Whitman Fire Department Reminds Residents of Christmas Tree Fire Hazards this Holiday Season
WHITMAN — Chief Timothy Grenno and the Whitman Fire Department are encouraging residents to use caution when decorating and lighting a Christmas tree in their homes this holiday season.
“Though Christmas tree fires aren’t common, they can be deadly,” Chief Grenno said. “Please be cautious as you cut, place, and decorate your tree in order to avoid a dangerous or tragic situation this holiday season.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments responded to an average of 210 home structure fires per year, from 2010-2014. On average, these fires caused six fatalities, 16 injuries and $16.2 million in direct property damage per year.
In order to prevent a Christmas tree fires, Whitman Fire recommends residents follow safety tips provided by the NFPA:
PICKING THE TREE
Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
PLACING THE TREE
Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2 inches from the base of the trunk.
Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
LIGHTING THE TREE
Use the appropriate lights, as some are only for indoor use, and others are for outdoor use.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against a house.
Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.