Archived News Release from 2010
For Immediate Release
Redwood City Fire Department Urges Fire Safety During the Holidays
Redwood City, CA - November 30, 2010 - The holiday season is a time for family and good cheer – and unfortunately, it’s also a time of increased risk of home fires. In fact, some holiday activities including cooking, Christmas trees, candle usage, and use of holiday decorations, are among the leading causes of home fires. The Redwood City Fire Department is reminding the community that by taking a few preventative steps and following some simple rules of thumb, most home fires can be prevented – and help everyone to have a fun, festive, and safe holiday season.
Here are a few key winter and holiday fire-safety tips from the Redwood City Fire Department:
- Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling or broiling food. Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom.
- If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
- If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
- After Christmas, remove the tree from your home. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.
- Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Additional information on home fire safety for the holidays is available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website, located at www.nfpa.org/holiday. More information on how to make your home “fire-safe” can be obtained by contacting the Redwood City Fire Department at 650-780-7400 or visiting www.redwoodcity.org/fire.
Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter or other documents by visiting www.redwoodcity.org/egov.
Redwood City Fire Department