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Holiday Safety

Christmas Tree Safety

  • Avoid buying an excessively dry natural Christmas tree.  Signs of a dry tree include lack of needle pliability (they should not break when bent between fingers) and loss of needles.  Needles should stay on branches when brushed or when the tree is moved. 
  • Before you place your tree in a sturdy tree stand, cut an inch or two off the bottom of the trunk.  This helps the tree to absorb water from the reservoir & stay moist.
  • If you use an artificial tree be certain it is fire resistant.
  • Place tree in a location that is not near a heat source and does not block a hall or escape route in the house.
  • If children (or even pets) will be in the house, avoid using fragile ornaments that may break, leaving sharp edges.  If you must, consider using them higher in the tree.
  • If you have small ornaments that may be a choking hazard to small children consider not using them or place them out of reach.
  • Do not use lights or chords that are worn, broken, frayed, or in poor repair.
  • Turn off lights when leaving home or going to sleep.
  • After Christmas, safely dispose of your tree before it becomes too dry.  The city of Alliance usually announces when they will be available to pick up and dispose of the natural trees in town.

Christmas Light Safety

  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant.
  • Use outdoor lights outdoors.  Use indoor lights indoors.
  • Lights that are worn, have broken cords, or loose blubs should be replaced.
  • To avoid damaging lights, hang them on clips.
  • Keep lights away from windows and doors.

Candle Safety

The holiday season brings increased risk for home fires due to increases of combustible decorations and use of candles.

  • Be certain that candles are on a stable surface and never left unattended.  Also do not go to sleep while a candle is ignited.
  • Keep candles away from trees, curtains and other combustible items.
  • Keep candles out of reach of children.

More information can be found at https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Top-causes-of-fire              

Holiday Cooking Safety

Cooking equipment, most often a range or stovetop is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States with frequency increasing during the holidays.

Be safe in the kitchen this year:

  • Keep small children away from cooking areas. 
  • Avoid distractions while cooking.  Pay attention to the food you are preparing.
  • Deep fat turkey fryers inherit risks of fire and burns.  Only use the fryer on a sturdy surface and outdoors, away from children and items that are flammable.  To avoid hot oil from popping and splattering be certain the turkey is completely thawed before you fry it.  Your turkey fryer can easily over heat and start on fire.  Watch your fryer temperature frequently to avoid this. 

More information on turkey fryer safety can be found at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/turkey_fryers_flyer.pdf