Firefighters Offer Tips for Holiday Safety

Firefighters Offer Tips for Holiday Safety

It is the holiday season and Danville Firefighters want to make sure fire does not ruin your holiday.  Fire Lieutenant Chris McMahon says while many people think real Christmas trees are the source of most fires during the holiday – that’s not the case….

{‘’Candles. – It’s the number one reason for fires around the Christmas time.  That is the most common cause, even though everybody’s like ‘Oh, the Christmas tree is going to catch fire’. The actual number one cause is candles – the burning of candles.’’}

Acting Danville Fire Chief Don McMasters says one way to reduce the risk of fires over Christmas is to use LED lights instead of old-fashioned lights….

{”LED lights, when they’re working, you plug them in and they’re good.  You don’t have to find that one bulb that’s out that’s causing the whole strand (to be out).  People are comfortable with what they have for lights, and people don’t want to spend the money.  And LED lights are a little more, but that would be a huge difference if you do use natural real trees.  The LED lights…that takes that potential heat factor of setting that tree on fire out of the picture completely,” said McMasters.}

Chief McMasters also says the use of cheap extension cords with space heaters is another common thing that triggers fires this time of year…

{”You want to maintain a suggested 3 to 4 feet of space around space heaters.  All the way around them – not just in the front of them where the heat’s blowing out.  All the way around space heaters you want to maintain 3 to 4 feet of any kind of combustibles. And then the other, obviously being those inexpensive brown or green extension cords that everybody buys for $2-dollars at the dollar store.  Those are not designed for any type of space heater,” said Acting Chief McMasters.}

Chief McMasters notes there are regular appliance extension cords that can be purchased.

(Lieutenant McMahon is on the left in the photo and acting Chief Don McMasters is on the right.  They were guests on WDAN Radio’s ‘Newsmakers’ program.)

Some other safety tips over the Christmas period include:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Make sure decorations are either flame retardant or flame resistant.
  • Keep children and pets away from candles.
  • Check to make sure your lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use or both.
  • Keep real Christmas trees away from a heat source. It can dry out the tree quickly. Check the tree’s water level daily.
  • If you are planning to host family and friends over the holidays, make sure they are aware of your fire escape plans. Show them where all the exits are in your home and make sure they are aware if your family’s outdoor meeting spot in the event of a fire.