Tips For Preventing a Fire This Holiday Season
By Leanne Shelton
With Christmas only a little more than a week away, most of us have festively decorated our homes. The lights, the candles, the Christmas trees sure do make our spaces cozy and bright, filled with the holiday spirit.
All of these decorations, however, can increase the risk of a fire in our home or apartment. It is important to take some precautions to decrease the chance of a fire breaking out and spreading.
If you have a live tree in your house, the number one way to minimize risk is to water your tree regularly. If a fire were to break out, keeping your tree watered will prevent a fire from spreading as quickly as it would if the tree was dry. The National Institute of Standards and Technology demonstrates with a video a simulation of a fire starting in a dry tree versus a watered tree. Be sure to check it out because the results are quite dramatic. You can view the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26A-49Wb2F4.
The Phoenixville Fire Department also has some practical tips to help keep you safe this holiday season:
-Don’t run cords under your carpet.
-Don’t plug too many lights together and don’t overload your outlets.
-Don’t plug extension cords into extension cords.
-Turn off the lights when you are not home.
It is also important to check for frayed wires and broken bulbs and replace if necessary. And don’t put candles on unsteady surfaces where they may fall over.
It is also VERY important to make sure that your home has working smoke detectors. You should press the button on your smoke detector monthly to make sure the batteries work and the alarm sounds. According to the Phoenixville Fire Department, a working smoke detector cuts your risk of being injured or dying in a fire by 50%.
If you live in the Borough of Phoenixville, you can contact the Phoenixville Fire Department to have firefighters come to your residence to test or install new smoke detectors as part of their Smoke Detector Program. If you do not live in the Borough and need smoke detectors or want yours tested, please contact your local fire department and ask if there is a similar service provided.
For more information or if you have questions about fire safety, contact Shoen Safety and Training. To become CPR and/or First Aid certified, register for one of the upcoming classes at this link: http://shoensafety.com/events/.