The holiday season can bring great joy and excitement to families. Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or the New Year, Eastside Fire & Rescue recommends you follow these guidelines for a safe and happy holiday season:
- Test your smoke detectors monthly and replace batteries at least twice a year.
- Keep matches, lighters, candles, decorative lights and electrical decorations out of the reach of children.
- Have an emergency escape plan. PRACTICE THE PLAN!
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand and know how to use it.
Lights and Candles
- Never use candles on a Christmas tree.
- Place candles where they will not be knocked down.
- Keep lights or candles away from anything that could easily catch fire.
- Always use non-flammable holders, Kinara, Advent wreaths and Menorahs.
- Never leave holiday lights and candles unattended.
- Inspect all lights and cords before using them. Discard all lights with cracked or broken wiring.
- Use only UL listed and approved lights and never overload circuits.
- Keep wrapping paper and ribbons away from heat sources. This includes candles, lights, stoves and heaters.
- Holly and mistletoe are poisonous. Keep them away from children and pets.
- Put decorations high enough on the tree so your child or pet cannot reach them. Children can choke or cut themselves on ornament hangers or tinsel, and can be poisoned by older painted ornaments that may contain lead.
- Start the holiday with a clean stove and oven. Keep the kitchen off limits to young children.
- When cooking, do not wear clothing with loose sleeves or dangling jewelry.
- Cook on the back burners when possible and turn pot handles in so they don’t extend over the edge of the stove.
Fireplace and Woodstove Safety
- Check and clean the fireplace/woodstove and chimney every year.
- Make sure the fire you build “fits” your fireplace/woodstove. Do not overload it with too many logs.
- Always use a fireplace screen or woodstove doors.
- NEVER use gasoline, lighter fluid or kerosene to start a fire.
- Remove ashes in a metal container. Never store them in the house.
- Use care with “fire salts” which can produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children and pets.
--Information from Eastside Fire & Rescue