Safety tip: Winter holiday safety (December 11, 2019 Hotline)

Safety tip: Winter holiday safety

As we look forward to our winter holidays and spending time with our families and friends, it’s important to remember the risks of fire that are common with the season. NMSU’s Fire Department advises a few simple tips will help to ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Holiday decorating

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. Blow out lit candles when you leave a room or go to sleep.
  • Check your lights. Some are for indoor use, some for outdoor use, but not both. Read the instructions for how many light strings to connect. Use clips, not nails to hang lights. Replace worn light strings.
  • Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Holiday entertaining

  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them and provide deep ashtrays. Wet the butts before discarding.
  • Dispose of fireplace ashes in a metal container with a lid that secures tightly

After the holidays

  • If you have a tree, get rid of it soon after the holiday. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with the City of Las Cruces for their schedule for recycling real trees. Remove and store outdoor electrical lights soon after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

We can all take steps to make celebrations safe this season. Learn more about how and why fires start from the National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org. Enjoy your holidays!


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