Follow simple steps for merry, bright and safe holiday season

November 27, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 27, 2010

The state fire marshal urges Washington residents to practice fire safety during the holiday season.

“The risks of fire increases as residents tend to stay inside to avoid the cold, damp weather,” Fire Marshal Charles Duffy said in a statement. “The use of heating devices such as portable space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves should be done with care. Cooking activities, holiday lights, candles and other decorations also create fire danger.”

Now is also a good time to test smoke alarms and review home escape plans. If a fire occurs, everyone in a household should know how to exit the home quickly and safely.

Consider installing a residential fire sprinkler system for even greater fire protection. The sprinklers can help stop the spread of fire by using small amounts of water.

The fire marshal suggests the following safety tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday season:

  • Keep all heaters at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as curtains, walls, furniture, papers, etc.
  • Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into extension cords.
  • Keep children and pets away from heaters.
  • Have chimneys inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
  • Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food.
  • Keep any flammable and combustible items away from the stovetop.
  • Keep children and pets away from any cooking appliances.
  • Ensure the wiring of holiday lights is in good condition.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets.
  • Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.
  • Use only nonflammable decorations.
  • Never put wrapping paper in the fireplace.
  • Choose a flame-retardant artificial Christmas tree.
  • Avoid using lit candles. Instead, use battery-operated candles.
  • Never put lit candles on a Christmas tree.
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