Put a freeze on winter fires!
Fire Prevention News - December 13, 2017

USFA and NFPA team up to help you Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are once again teaming up to promote winter fire safety through their joint campaign, "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires." The goal of the campaign is to educate the public on increased fire risks during the winter months.

December, January and February are the leading months for home fires. Many of these fires are caused by cooking, heating and holiday decorations such as lights, Christmas trees and candles.

Each week during the campaign, USFA will share helpful, practical tips to help us make our homes and families safer. Follow #winterfiresafety on Twitter @usfire and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usfire

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. It is fun to decorate, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.

Follow these safety tips to make your holidays fire safe.

    Choose holiday decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

    Make sure you are using the correct lights. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.

    Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

    Use clips, not nails or staples, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.

    Make sure your decorations don't block doors or windows. Create a clear path to all windows and doors for easy escape in case there's a fire.

    Turn off all light strings and decorations when going to bed or leaving your home

If your winter holiday tradition includes a real Christmas tree, you need to be aware of the fire risks. If your tree catches on fire, the fire can spread very quickly.

When you're decorating with a live tree, consider the following tips:

    Choose the freshest tree you can find. Check the needles. They should feel soft, not brittle and stay on the limb when you gently pull on the branch.

    After making a fresh cut on the trunk and placing the tree in a stand, fill the stand's water basin. Water your tree every day.

    Keep electrical cords away from the water in the tree stand.

    Place your tree at least three feet from heat registers, space heaters and fireplaces.

Think about using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles. If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holder and place them where they cannot be knocked over easily. Keep lit candles at least three-feet away from decorations and things that can burn. Blow out lit candles when you leave your home or go to bed.