Folsom Fire Department Warns of Fire Risk During the Holidays
The holiday season brings activities that can increase the risk of fire. Christmas trees, candles, decorations and cooking for a crowd all present a risk of fire, according to the Folsom Fire Department.
With that in mind, our local fire department has some thoughts for having a safe celebration with those you love this winter.
- The leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries is unattended cooking. And most of those fires involve the stovetop. It’s important to stay in the kitchen when you’re preparing meals.
- Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop, and turn the stove off when you leave the kitchen.
- Make a “kid-free zone” around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are being prepared or carried. That zone should be about three feet.
- If you have a cooking fire, get out. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 911 or the local emergency number immediately.
- If you attempt to fight the fire, make sure others are evacuating and that you can access an an exit.
- Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Slide the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Never use water on a grease fire.
- Candle fires are most common in the month of December.
- More than half of all candle fires start from candles being too close to things that could catch fire.
- When burning candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Remember to blow out candles when you leave the room or go to bed.
- Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom, where more than one third of home candle fires begin, or other areas where people may fall asleep.
- Never leave a child or pet alone in a room with a burning candle.
- Consider using flameless candles.
- U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires per year caused by Christmas trees. Three of every 10 of these fires are due to electrical problems. One in four result from the tree being too close to a heat source.
- Be sure your artificial tree is labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
- Make sure the green needles don’t fall off a fresh tree when touched. Water the tree daily.
- Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source (think fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.)
- Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use. Replace lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate a Christmas tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
- After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage.
Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards.