Chief Matthew Grafton
25 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Stoneham Fire Department Shares Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
STONEHAM – With the holiday season in full swing, Chief Matthew Grafton and the Stoneham Fire Department would like to provide residents with several important decorating safety tips to best ensure that everyone enjoys this time of year.
“As residents prepare to decorate their homes, we ask that they remember to place items responsibly, especially lights and Christmas trees, which could catch fire,” Chief Grafton said. “It’s also extremely important for residents to remember to check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and replace them if needed. They are essential in saving lives if an emergency were to occur.”
According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in two out of every five Christmas tree fires in homes. Additionally, the top four days for home candle fires were New Year’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve.
In order to keep your home safe from fire this season, Chief Grafton recommends residents follow safety tips from 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 1-foot “circle of safety,” free of anything that can catch fire.
- Never leave food that is 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 3 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. Consider placing a battery operated smoke detector right inside your tree.
- 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 ashtray to dispose of cigarettes.
For more information on holiday safety tips, visit the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services’ website or contact the Stoneham Fire Department at 781-438-5296.