Holiday Safety Tips

Fire Prevention Tips

  • Use electrical items (such as Christmas lights or other holiday decorations) that are UL listed and in good condition. At work, check with your building manager to ensure electrical circuits will not be overloaded.
  • Never place lights on a metallic tree or metal furniture such as a file cabinet.
  • Always unplug the lights before leaving home or going to sleep.
  • Never use candles to decorate a tree.
  • At home, use extreme caution when burning candles. Be sure they are placed in sturdy, non-combustible holders, and are kept well away from decorations and other combustible materials. Check candles frequently to make sure they don't burn down too far or drip hot wax. Don't leave children unattended in a room with lit candles.
  • Holiday decorations should be made with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
  • Make sure your holiday tree is at least 3 feet from any heat source and placed so that it doesn't block an exit.
  • If purchasing an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardant.

Holiday Tree Safety

If you choose to use a natural cut trees in your work location, remember these critical points:

  • Make sure it is fresh.
  • Natural cut trees should be end-cut at an angle to help absorb water, placed in a suitable stand with adequate water. The water level should be checked daily and the tree removed upon evidence of dryness.
  • Natural cut trees should not be permitted in assembly occupancies unless the building is fully covered by a sprinkler system.
  • They should not obstruct any corridor, exit way, or other means of egress.
  • They should not be located near heating vents or other fixed or portable heating devices that could cause the tree to dry out prematurely or to be ignited.
  • Be aware that a dry tree is a serious fire hazard. If ignited, it will burn very quickly and with intense heat. Spraying or "flocking" a tree doe snot make it fire-resistive, so be careful. If your tree begins dropping needles, be sure to dispose of it safely. Dried-out trees are very dangerous.

Be Safe Not Sorry

  • Holiday wrappings should be removed from the immediate area and discarded in a safe manner.
  • As you are cleaning in preparation for your holiday decorating, take the opportunity to vacuum out the interior of your smoke detector. And don't forget to test your smoke detector monthly and make sure it has fresh batteries.
  • How old is your smoke detector? The National Fire Protection Association  recommends that smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years.
  • Use care when disposing of smoking materials. Cigarette butts can smolder if not completely doused in water before disposal. The same is true of fireplace ashes, which can smolder for up to two weeks after a fire.

By considering these simple rules, you can minimize the possibility of a fire at work or at home.

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