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The City of Titusville, Florida / Fire & Emergency Services / NewsHoliday Safety Tips
Holiday and Live Christmas Tree Fire Safety
Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from being the cause of a tragedy.
Live Christmas Trees
- Don’t put your live Christmas tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Make sure the tree is fresh by bending its needles. Fresh tree needles will bend, dryer tree needles will break.
- Place trees away from heat sources, including fireplaces or heat vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
- Keep the live tree stand filled with water at all times.
- Use only nonflammable decorations.
- Don’t link together more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it’s safe.
- Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Follow safety instructions for maximum light strands per extension cord.
- Avoid using lit candles in holiday arrangements; consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
- Avoid placing flammable decorations near any heating source, such as a fireplace, portable heater, etc.
- Ensure that Christmas trees and other holiday decorations don’t block an exit way.
- Try to avoid using extension cords, but if used make sure the cord is U.L. listed and don't run under rugs or carpeting and keep away from any moisture or water sources.
- Make sure all holiday lights are used in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. Interior lights should only be used indoors; exterior lights should out be used out-of-doors. Use approved hanging devices that don't pierce the protective coating on lights.
- Always unplug or turn off interior and exterior holiday lights when leaving the house or before going to bed.
- Never use pine logs in the fireplace. Wood resins are highly flammable. Never use the fireplace to burn holiday wrappings and always use a fire screen. Chimneys should be cleaned annually before using.
Please make sure that your smoke detectors are working properly and your family practices your emergency plan before the holidays.
For more tips on how to prevent a holiday fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home, contact Titusville Life Safety Specialist Heather Gilmore, firstname.lastname@example.org
321-567-3800 or visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website at www.usfa.fema.gov