Chief James T. Januse
37 Orchard St.,
Raynham, MA 02767
For Immediate Release
Monday, Dec. 3, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Raynham Fire Department Extinguishes House Fire
Family of Four Displaced
RAYNHAM — Chief James T. Januse reports that the Raynham Fire Department extinguished a house fire that started in an electrical outlet where Christmas decorations were plugged in Monday morning.
At approximately 2 a.m., Raynham Fire responded to 248 Warren St. West for a report of fire inside a single-family home.
Upon arrival, all four members of the household were out of the house safely. The homeowner directed firefighters to the living room next to the Christmas tree where the fire was burning.
The fire was quickly extinguished and was contained to the living room by firefighters. The house sustained water damage on the first floor and basement and smoke damage throughout the house. No injuries were reported.
Due to the damage, the residents were displaced and went to stay with relatives.
Members of the Taunton and Bridgewater fire departments assisted on the call.
The initial investigation indicates that fire started in an outlet where Christmas decorations and a sub-woofer were plugged in.
Chief Januse would like to remind residents not overload their electrical outlets when plugging in holiday lights and decorations.
“Decorations and lights that are plugged in should always be turned off or unplugged when you go to bed at night,” Chief Januse said. “You can also buy timers to have the lights and decorations shut off at the time you want them to.”
Chief Januse would like to share the following safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission:
- Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety. Identify these by the label from an independent testing laboratory.
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
- Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, the house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.
- Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Lights could short and start a fire.
- Never use electric lights on a metallic tree.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2012-2016, fire departments responded to an average of 170 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of four deaths, 15 injuries and $12 million in direct property damage annually.
In order to prevent Christmas tree fires, Raynham 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.
- Positions the tree so that it is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand daily.
LIGHTING THE TREE
- Use the appropriate lights, as some are only for indoor use, and others are for outdoor use.
- Replace any string lights that have 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.
- Dispose 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.
For more information on Christmas tree safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association website or contact the Raynham Fire Department at 508-824-2713.