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News Details

Holiday Safety

The Eureka Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and festive holiday season.

With the holiday season most of us will be decorating our homes and businesses with traditional seasonal decorations.  Many of our holiday traditions, however, result in fire and life safety hazards such as flammable decorations and Christmas trees, electric lights and decorations, and lit candles.

Nationally there are approximately 210 home fires involving real and artificial Christmas trees each year.  Keeping fresh Christmas trees well-watered is not only vital to the tree's decorative longevity, but also to keeping consumers safe.  If ignited, a dry tree can become engulfed in flames in a matter of seconds, as opposed to a well-watered tree. 

Families should make a fresh cut to the trunk and place the tree in water as soon as possible once getting it home. 

Christmas trees should be disposed of promptly after the holiday season.

Candles caused an estimated 15,600 home fires annually. These fires caused an estimated 150 deaths, 1,270 injuries and $539 million in property damage.

Because of these risks, the Eureka Fire Department urges people to practice a few safety precautions before, during and after their celebrations.

  • Christmas trees in businesses are required to be flame retardant.  Flame retardant trees or spray-on retardant are available locally.
  • Keep your tree watered at all times.  Check the water level daily.
  • Regularly check your tree for fresh, green needles.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Make sure any lit candles in the room are placed well away from tree branches.
  • Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Promptly dispose of trees after the holiday season.
  • Always keep candles, as well as matches and lighters, out of the reach of children, and don't leave children unattended in a room with lit candles.
  • Look for the UL Mark on light strings and electrical decorations.
  • Only use lights designed for outdoor use outdoors. 
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration - new or old - before plugging it in. Cracked sockets, frayed, bare or loose wires can cause a serious electric shock or start a fire and should be discarded.
  • Take down holiday lights promptly after the holiday season to prevent damage from weather conditions and neighborhood animals.

For more information go to www.nfpa.org or call the Eureka Fire Department.