Keep Your Family Safe During the Holidays

What is on top of every First Responder’s wish list this Holiday Season?  Your family’s safety!  The adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true and—when simple prevention is ignored—our alarm bells ring!

Please take note of these tips this holiday season:

Inspect electrical decorations before use.  Look for damaged or frayed wires, and replace any component that shows wear.

Do not overload electrical outlets.  Overloaded electrical outlets and faulty    wiring are a common cause of fires

Never connect more than three strings of incandescent lights.  In fact, consider low-wattage LED strings.

Keep trees fresh by watering daily.  A dry evergreen inside your home is a fire hazard.

Use battery operated candles.  Candles start almost half of home decoration fires.

Keep combustibles at least three feet away from heat sources.  A heat source that was too close to a decoration was a factor in half of home fires that began with decorations.

Protect cords from damage.  To avoid shock or overheating, cords should never be pinched by furniture, forced into small spaces such as doors or windows, placed under rugs, located near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.

Check decorations for certification labels.  Decorations not bearing a label from an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA), or Intertek (ETL) have not been tested for safety and could be hazardous.

Stay in the kitchen when something is cooking.  Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires.

Turn off, unplug, and extinguish all decorations when going to sleep or leaving the house.  Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11:00pm and 7:00am.

Happy Holidays!

Captain Brian Bolstad

Jackson County Fire District 5

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