Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

By: Lieutenant Dave Carter, Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service

Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage.

According to the U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are simple life saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following some of the outlined precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.

Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live or fresh cut tree in the house.

Safety Links

· Christmas Tree Fire Hazards

· Selecting a Christmas Tree

· Christmas Tree Care

Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home to include all sleeping areas, test them monthly, and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.

Know when and how to call for help (ESPECIALLY CHILDREN). Ensure your house has the address readable from the street in night time light conditions.

Have in place and remember to practice your home escape plan. The plan should have at least 2 points of escape from each living area and a meeting place outside for family members exiting the home. Meet in a safe area that is visible to responding fire department personnel. Be able to provide information for anyone not accounted for.

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