Fire and Rescue
75 West Center Street
Springville, UT 84663
Emergency Dial 911
Fire Prevention for the Holidays
Each year fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of over 400 people, injure 1, 650 more, and cause over $990 million in damage.
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), there are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following some of the outlined precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.
- Christmas Tree Fire Hazards – Movie segments demonstrating how fast a live Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames. Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
Holiday Safety — US Fire Administration
- Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
- Caring for Your Tree
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 more 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.
- Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
- Maintain Your Holiday Lights
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
- Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.
- Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended
- Use Only Nonflammable Decorations
All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
- Never Put Wrapping Paper in a Fireplace
It can result in a very large fire, throwing off dangerous sparks and embers and may result in a chimney fire.
- Artificial Christmas Trees
If you are using a metallic or artificial tree make sure it is flame retardant.
- Avoid Using Lit Candles
if you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
- Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
do not go near a Christmas tree with an open flame – candles, lighters or matches.
Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times. Know when and how to call for help. And remember to practice your home escape plan.
- An adult should always accompany children under 12 years of age.
- Do not use open flame candles in jack-o-lanterns. Commercially available battery lights are much safer and do not pose a fire hazard.
- Parents should never let their children carve a pumpkin unsupervised.
- Do not hand out homemade or unwrapped candies to children.
- Parents should plan a route for your child to use while trick-or-treating and set an early return time for your child.
- To welcome trick-or-treaters, switch on your porch lights or any exterior lights.
- Do not go inside anyone’s house. Remain on the stoop or porch at all times.
- Do not go into a stranger’s automobile.
- Do not take shortcuts through backyards, alleys, or parks.
- Walk, do not run.
- When crossing the street look both ways. Do not cross in between cars.
- Always use the sidewalk.
- Trick-or-treat on well-lit streets within your neighborhood.
- Children should always travel in a group.
- Use the buddy system, and make sure you have at least one buddy with you the entire evening.
- When you return home, have an adult examine and discard all candies that are not factory sealed or wrapped by the candy manufacturer. Never eat homemade or unwrapped treats.
- Never accept candy from strangers.
- Children should carry spare change in case of an emergency and they need to call home.
- Only purchase and use flame retardant costumes.
- Children should wear white, reflective clothing, or use reflective tape and carry either a flashlight or glow stick.
- Costumes should fit properly avoid loose or baggy costumes.
- Avoid any type of open flame while wearing costume.
- Encourage children to wear face paint as oppose to a mask. Face paint should be non-toxic and meet FDA standards.
- If mask is worn, make sure that the eye, mouth and nose openings are large enough to ensure adequate breathing and full range of vision.
- Children should never carry sharp objects. Ensure that all props are made of material that is flexible and nonrealistic looking.
- Materials made of 100% polyester or modacrylics are best for making homemade costumes. They are less flammable. 100% polyester and modacrylics may be purchased at most local fabric stores.
- REMEMBER – A flame-retardant costume does not mean that it is fire proof. Always keep your costume away from any type of open flame or other heat sources.
- Be aware of children darting out between parked automobiles.
- Use caution while entering and exiting driveways.
- During twilight and evening hours be mindful of children in dark costumes.