Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together, but that also means a greater risk for fire. Make sure you and your family are safe this holiday season by following a few steps that Fire Prevention Officer of the Vestal Fire Department, Kenneth Frontier has to offer.
According to the National Fire Protection Association one of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems. Make sure you are being mindful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or retardant. Make sure you are using inside lights, indoors and outside lights, outdoors. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords don't get damaged. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the home or going to bed.
When you're entertaining guests this holiday make sure you test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan. Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove top, ask smoker to smoke outside.
Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn, keep children and pets away from lit candles, keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet and blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Think about using battery-operated flameless candles. If you do burn real candles, place it in a sturdy candle holder that will not tip over. Make sure to keep candles 12 inches away from things that can burn and never leave a burning candle alone.
Christmas tree safety also involves picking a tree. Make sure to choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when they're touched. Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk. Make sure to water your Christmas tree every day and get rid of your Christmas tree after Christmas or when it is dry.
If you have any more questions you can call the Fire Prevention Bureau at (607) 321-6033 or go online.