Holiday Decoration Safety
As homeowners and businesses begin decorating for the holiday season it is important to follow a few simple fire safety tips to ensure a safe season.
Before putting up holiday lights inspect them for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear.
- Do not overload electrical outlets. Avoid linking more than three light strands and connect the strings of light to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Check the wires periodically; they should not be warm to the touch.Decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents
- Ensure trees and other decorations do not block an exit way.
- Never place wrapping paper in the fireplace as it can result in a very large fire that can throw off dangerous sparks and embers that may result in a chimney fire.
- When using lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and placed where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
- Do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame (candles, lighters or matches.)
- When choosing a live Christmas tree make sure the needles are green and hard to pull back from the branches; the trunk should be stick to the touch. If the tree is freshly cut the needles should not break. To determine how freshly cut the tree is, bounce the tree trunk on the ground, if many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
- Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.
- Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
- At end of the season recycle trees at the Odessa Recycling Center, 816 West 42nd Street. Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
For more information on fire safety please contact the Odessa Fire Marshall’s office at 432.257.0502.