During this holiday season, the Champaign Fire Department reminds you to keep fire safety in mind. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fires caused by candles and holiday decorations increase during the month of December, with nearly half of all holiday decoration fires occurring because the decorations were placed too close to a heat source. Two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.
Other safety tips include:
Candles can offer ambience for your winter home, but they still pose a threat, especially if left unattended. All candles should be placed in sturdy metal, glass, or ceramic containers. Do not place candles in a spot where they can be knocked over. Consider using realistic, battery powered flameless candles instead.
A dried out Christmas tree can fuel an explosive fire. With the holiday season approaching, remember to water live Christmas trees to keep them from drying out too quickly. Never use lights on a dried out tree.
Cooking Safety Tips
Cooking is the leading cause of fires and fire injuries within the home. Don’t take your eyes off the stove when cooking a meal. Avoid wearing loose fitting clothing, which may ignite and cause serious burns when near the stove. Don’t use water to extinguish a grease fire, instead place a lid on the pot or pan, or use baking soda to smother a small fire. Never try to extinguish a large fire. If a large fire occurs, get out and call 911 immediately.
Furnaces, Chimneys, Fireplaces
All of these utilities should be inspected and serviced regularly to ensure that they are operating properly. When using a fireplace, make sure to have a fireplace screen in place to guard against any stray embers, and never leave any fire unattended. Dispose of fireplace ashes in fireproof metal receptacles with lids and store in a secure area away from buildings.
These fires can move quickly through a home inside a wall without your knowledge until the fire finally breaks through and triggers the alarm. Overloaded electric sockets or power strips can heat up and cause an electrical fire. Old, frayed or worn wires or cords on appliances or holiday lights are dangerous and should be replaced.
Make a Family Fire Escape Plan
Fires today burn hotter, move faster, and produce more toxic smoke than ever before. You and your family may have only minutes to get out. Know the difference between the sound of your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm and get out and stay out when it sounds.
Fire prevention and fire safety is important all year long but especially important as we approach the holiday season and the winter months, The City of Champaign Fire Department encourages residents to enjoy the holiday season and avoid tragedy by staying “Fire Safe.”
Champaign Fire Department
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone (217) 403-7200