For Immediate Release
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
Marion Fire Department Reminds Residents of Holiday Fire Safety Tips
MARION — With the holiday season officially upon us, Fire Chief Brian Jackvony and the Marion Fire Department would like to remind residents to be aware of fire hazards when illuminating their homes this month.
“We want residents to remain safe and injury-free this season and to be extra mindful as they decorate their homes with lights, trees, and candles,” Chief Jackvony said. “Residents should take precautions and follow these simple tips to ensure a happy and fire-free holiday season.”
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 and other fires that can be caused by holiday decorations, Marion Fire recommends residents follow safety tips provided by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you buy one, look for a statement specifying this protection.
- Place trees away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Heated rooms dry trees out rapidly, creating fire hazards.
- Cut off about two inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.
- 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.
- 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 lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
- Always use non-flammable holders.
- Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
General Rules for Holiday Safety
- Keep matches, lighters, and candles out of reach of children.
- Avoid smoking near flammable decorations.
- Make an emergency plan to use if a fire breaks out anywhere in the home. See that each family member knows what to do. Practice the plan!
- Avoid wearing loose flowing clothes — particularly long, open sleeves — near open flames – such as those of a fireplace, stove, or candlelight table.
- Burning evergreens in the fireplace can also be hazardous. When dry, greens burn like tinder. Flames can flare out of control, and send sparks flying into a room, or up the chimney to ignite creosote deposits.
For more information on Christmas tree safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association website or contact the Marion Fire Department at 508-748-3596.