Prevent a Christmas tree fire
CAMINO — Christmas tree fires cause approximately 200 house fires each year in this country.
There are very simple steps you can take to prevent this type of fire from happening to you. When you are ready to put up your tree, make a fresh cut at the base of the tree (a minimum of 2 inches) and place the tree into a bucket of water or a clean tree stand immediately. Keep the tree away from all heat sources and water the tree daily. When you are decorating the tree, make sure the light strings are in good condition. Throw away any light strings that are damaged or frayed. Don’t leave the tree lights “on” when you are away from home or when you have gone to sleep. Never overload your electrical outlets.
“If you follow these simple steps,” cautions Chief Bill Holmes of the Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento-Alpine Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “you can help prevent a potentially deadly fire.”
Highlights for a fire safe holiday:
- Consider purchasing a tree pretreated with a fire retardant or treat your tree with an approved fire retardant (for a list of approved fire retardants, visit the Office of the State Fire Marshall’s website http://osfm.fire.ca.gov/licensinglistings/pdf/flameretardant/chemical/ChemicalList.pdf.
- Working smoke alarms in your home reduces one’s chance of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. Test the smoke alarm monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
- 82 percent of fire deaths occur in the home. Practice your families exit drill and make sure everyone knows where your meeting place is. If you do not have an exit drill, create one now. Do not forget to review this fire exit drill with house guests.
Bear in mind that by following a few simple fire safety tips you can prevent a possible Christmas tree fire and boost survival rates dramatically in the event you do have a house fire. For more information on other fire and life safety topics visit the Cal Fire website at fire.ca.gov.
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