Holiday Fire Safety
The holidays are a time for entertaining and celebration. It’s also a time for additional inventory, lights and holiday decorations. Unfortunately, this also increases the risk of fire. Prevention –the best way to keep from getting burned.
Every 18 seconds a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States (NFPA 2000). Fire has killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined. Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $10.7 billion dollars in 2005 (US Fire Admin.2005).
These statistics are scary but true however there are precautions you can take:
- When decorating with lights replace any frayed or damaged cords and only purchase lights that bare the mark of a testing laboratory (UL approved).
- Use caution with holiday decorations and choose those made with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.
- Always use a fused power-strip instead of a small gauge extension cord. All power-strips & large gauge (14-16) extension cords (for temporary use) must be plugged directly into an outlet.
- Make sure that all smoke detectors have batteries and are in working order.
- Exits (means of egress) must be totally unobstructed at all times.
- Make sure all exit signs and emergency lighting is in working order.
- Open flames (especially candles) are not permitted in a place of business.
- Make sure all employees are able to quickly locate exits and fire extinguishers.
- Live trees are prohibited.
- When using a portable heater make sure the emergency shut-off is working correctly and maintain at least 3’ clearance around the heater.
The fire department will be stopping in periodically through the winter months, especially during the holidays to help eliminate potential fire hazards.
For further information on holiday safety please visit the US Fire Administration website @ www.usfa.dhs.gov there is a great deal of helpful information about fire prevention during the holidays.
The fire department wishes you and your employees a safe and happy holiday season. If you have any questions please call (614) 855-7370.