STAMFORD, Conn. -- Ted Jankowski,
director of public safety, health and welfare in Stamford, is offering residents advice on how to prevent house fires associated with decorations and activities so that everyone has a safe holiday season.
Here are his tips:
Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant and keep them away from candles or any other heat source.
Not all holiday lights are made equal so be sure that you know whether yours are for indoor or outdoor use.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged, and do not overload electrical extension cords.
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. Water the tree daily. Make sure it is not blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from any heat source.
Never use lit candles to decorate the tree and always turn off the lights at night.
Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. If using candles they should be in sturdy holder and placed on an uncluttered surface at least 12” away from anything that can burn.
Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire. Never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
Never leave a fireplace unattended. Make sure that your fireplace has a sturdy screen and keep kids and combustibles at least three feet away.
Allow fireplace ashes to cool before disposing of them.
Lastly, make sure that you have properly installed and maintained smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the home.