Holiday Safety Tips from Chancellor Volunteer Fire & Rescue

Chancellor Volunteer Fire & Rescue wants to keep the holidays fun, festive and safe for all. Below are some helpful tips to post on the fridge or in the laundry room, so that everyone in the family will be mindful about how to avoid fire hazards and other safety pitfalls during the next few weeks: 

  • Use a sturdy tree stand and keep water in it so that the tree doesn’t dry out quickly and become a fire hazard.
  • Place your tree at a safe distance from fireplaces, radiators or other heat sources.
  • Make sure that the tree doesn’t block foot traffic around the house, or doorways that would be exits in case of an emergency.
  • Use sturdy ladders and step stools to reach high places for decorating. Don’t stand on household furniture.
  • Use only lights that have the label with a safety certification.
  • Before putting up lights, check for broken/cracked sockets, frayed wires, loose connections, etc. Discard any unsafe lights and get new ones.
  • A good rule of thumb is three standard-sized sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Turn off the lights on trees and decorations when you got to bed or leave the house.
  • Don’t put electric lights on a metallic tree.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near greenery.
  • Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
  • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant decorations and materials.
  • If you have small children, avoid tree trimmings that look like candy and avoid using “bubbling” lights.
  • Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
  • Practice an emergency exit plan with children; remember to have two ways out of the house in case of an emergency.
  • When cooking for the holidays, never leave foods unattended on the stove and don’t wear loose-sleeved garments near the burners.
  • Follow cooking instructions carefully for meats, so that the turkey/ham/chicken, etc., will be properly and safety prepared.
  • Winterize your car by checking brakes, spark plugs, tires and the battery. Arrange for a maintenance tune-up if needed.
  • Always have a working smoke alarm in the home and test it out.
  • If traveling out-of-town for the holidays, check weather conditions in advance and tell someone about your travel itinerary.
  • Remember: Don’t text and drive! 

“The holiday season is supposed to be joyful, not tearful,” said Kevin Dillard, Administrative Chief of Chancellor Volunteer Fire & Rescue. “If everyone uses common sense and takes reasonable safety precautions, we know that your celebrations will be memorable for all the right reasons.”


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