STATEWIDE — With the holiday season approaching, the Bargersville Fire Department sent out a list of tips to protect your home from potential hazards that are commonly associated with Christmas time.
1. Choose a Fresh Tree: When selecting your live Christmas tree, opt for one that is fresh and green. Look for needles that are difficult to pull from the branches, and avoid trees with dry, brittle branches.
2. Water Regularly: Proper hydration is key to maintaining a healthy and safe Christmas tree. Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out. A well-hydrated tree is less likely to become a fire hazard.
3. Keep Away from Heat Sources: Place your Christmas tree away from heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, or heating vents. These heat sources can quickly dry out the tree and increase the fire risk.
4. Use Safety Lights and Decorations: Ensure all lights and decorations used are certified for indoor use and are in good working condition. Inspect lights for any frayed wires or damaged sockets and replace them as soon as possible.
5. Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets: Avoid overloading electrical outlets by plugging in too many lights or decorations. Spread them across different outlets and use surge protectors to prevent electrical hazards.
6. Turn Lights Off at Night: To reduce the fire risk, turn off the Christmas tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed. This will minimize the chances of an electrical malfunction causing a fire.
7. Dispose of Trees Promptly: Once the holiday season ends, please remove the Christmas tree from your home as soon as possible. Dry trees can quickly become a fire hazard. Check with your local waste management authorities for proper disposal methods.
8. Consider Artificial Trees: If you prefer an artificial tree, ensure it is labeled as fire-resistant. Even artificial trees can present fire hazards if overloaded with faulty lights or placed near heat sources.
Michael Pruitt, the Bargersville Deputy Fire Chief also said that when burning fires in the chimney, be sure to only use seasoned wood. Burning boxes and wrapping paper can cause buildups in the chimney that have the potential to cause fire to spread into the home and cause damage.
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