Holiday Season Tips

GREETINGS FROM THE FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE

Here are a few safety bullets for winter and holiday safety:

Smoke Alarms

  • Place a smoke alarm on each level of your home and outside bedrooms
  • Test smoke alarms monthly
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it sound (Get Out-Stay Out)
  • Do not remove the batteries to put in other appliances such as personal stereos or games

Christmas Tree

  • Consider an artificial tree, they are generally fire retardant
  • If you do get a real tree, keep it well watered
  • Do not leave tree lights on when you go out, even if it is "just for a few minutes"
  • Even when attended, do not let tree lights run for more than six (6) - eight (8) hours
  • If you have pets, consider not putting up a tree
  • Do not place your tree close to a heat source - three (3) feet
  • Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wire, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up
  • Some lights are designed only for indoor or outdoor usage but not both
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree
  • Never use electric lights on a metal tree
  • Do not place the tree where it blocks exits
  • Choose sturdy tree stands, designed not to tip over
  • Safely dispose of real tree when it begins dropping needles - dried out trees are highly flammable, and should not be left in a house or garage, or placed against a house

Candles

  • Avoid using lit candles if possible
  • If not, use candle holders that are sturdy, won't tip over easily, are made from material that can't burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax
  • Don't place lit candles in windows, where blinds and curtains can close over them
  • Never leave the house with candles burning
  • Extinguish all candles when leaving the room or going to sleep
  • Keep candles and all open flames away from flammable liquids
  • Try to avoid carrying a lit candle
  • Keep candles up high out of reach of children
  • Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible material

Entertaining

  • Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S. When cooking for holiday visitors remember to keep an eye on the range
  • Clean the oven and stove prior to the holiday. Often the extra load on the appliances causes a fire due to the high use and extra grease build up
  • Keep kitchen clutter away from the stove and oven
  • Always wear short, tight fitting sleeves when cooking
  • Turn pot handles inward to avoid spills
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home
  • Provide plenty of large, deep, wide lipped ashtrays, and check them frequently
  • Never smoke in bed
  • Don't put ashtrays on the arms of sofas or chairs
  • Don't leave cigarettes, cigars or pipe unattended
  • If you begin to feel drowsy while watching television or reading, extinguish your cigarette, cigar or pipe
  • After a party, always check on, between and under upholstery and cushions, and inside trash cans for cigarette butts that may be smoldering
  • Use a metal or glass screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting carpets or furniture
  • Dispose of hot ashes in metal containers placed away from the house
  • Clean your chimney regularly
  • Do not burn trees, decorations or wrapping paper in your fireplace
  • Use aged wood, not green wood if available
  • Hopefully these reminders will help each and every one of you, and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season. More information can be obtained from the City of Little Rock Fire Marshal's Office by calling (501) 918-3700.

Remember:

  • Install smoke detectors (alarms)
  • Develop a home fire escape plan
  • Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm
  • Have at least two ways out of each room
  • Get out and Stay out