As we all eagerly anticipate the upcoming holidays, we must all be reminded that this festive time of year, also can bring about tragedy, in the form of fire related incidents.
Decorative lights, candles, holiday cooking, all combined with the onset of our heating season, can lead to tragic results. Most of these tragedies can be avoided however, if we all follow fire safe practices, while enjoying the holidays.
- Chose fire safe toys that are made of non-flammable materials. Make sure that electrical toys bear the label of an independent testing laboratory.
- Make sure that all indoor and outdoor lights bear the label of an independent testing laboratory, and discard any lights that are frayed or otherwise damaged. Don’t overload outlets or run extension cords under carpets or over doorways. Don’t use electrical cords outdoors, unless specifically designed for such use. Never use electric lights on metal Christmas trees, and unplug all lights before leaving the the house or going to bed.
- Place candles in non-tip holders, and never allow them to burn near your Christmas tree or other combustible items. Never place candles in windows, near curtains, and extinguish candles before leaving the house or going to bed. Keep children away from candles, fireplaces, matches and lighters.
- Chose a fresh cut Christmas tree that’s not shedding its needles. Have your tree sprayed with a fire retardant product, and keep it well watered at all times. Keep your tree away from all sources of heat such as woodstoves and fireplaces. When your tree becomes dry, promptly remove it to the outdoors, away from your home. If you use an artificial tree, make sure it’s fire retardant.
- The consumption of alcohol while cooking, smoking, or decorating, can impair judgement and have tragic consequences.
- Make sure that your home has properly functioning smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers, and be familiar with their operation. These devices make excellent and very thoughtful Christmas presents.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please visit or contact your Rutland City Fire Dept. Headquarters, where there are many brochures available on all fire safe topics, at no charge to the public.
The members of your Rutland City Fire Dept. wish you a safe and happy holiday.
Gary J. Gregorio
Rutland City Fire Dept.