The Courier

As the Holidays approach, 4 Wing Fire Service is reminding everyone that a few safety precautions can keep the season merry.

The base fire department says the holiday season can sometimes bring about more instances of fires and related damage due to decorations and lights. Chief Fire Inspector Sgt Adam McAloney says a dried out Christmas tree can be a cause for concern.

“One thing we’d like to ask is that if you are going the route of a real tree, make sure it is watered daily. If not, trees can dry up very quickly and if a fire were to break out, they will light up very fast.”

Other tips for a safe holiday season include:

– Never decorate a tree with candles.
– Do not allow the tree to block access to doors or windows in the event of fire.
– Remove the tree from the house as soon as possible after Christmas.
– Check strings of electric lights carefully for worn insulation, broken plugs or loose bulb sockets
– Make sure that indoor and outdoor lights and replacement bulbs are marked as such on the box.

“Most of the new LED’s don’t push out a great deal of heat when they’re running,” adds McAloney. “But sometimes people will use older style Christmas lights which certainly can give off heat, so we recommend unplugging them when it’s bed time.”

“On Christmas morning, ensure that all that wrapping paper is balled up and disposed of in a proper container.  Most importantly, have a fire extinguisher close at hand and if you don’t have one, well, maybe we solved that last minute gift problem.”

The National Fire Prevention Association says 1/3rd of home decoration fires are started by candles, and that 2/5ths of decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source.


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