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Friday, December 10, 2010

CAL FIRE NEWS: CAL FIRE Christmas tree safety tips

Fire Safe Christmas Trees
 Christmas tree fires cause approximately 200 house fires each year in this country. There are very simple steps you can take to prevent this type of fire from happening to you.

Highlights for a fire safe holiday: Bear in mind that by following a few simple fire safety tips, you can prevent a possible Christmas tree fire and boost survival rates dramatically in the event you do have a house fire.
  1. When you are ready to put up your tree, make a fresh cut at the base of the tree (a minimum of two inches) and place the tree into a bucket of water or a clean tree stand immediately. 
  2. Keep the tree away from all heat sources and water the tree daily. 
  3. When you are decorating the tree, make sure the light strings are in good condition. Throw away any light strings that are damaged or frayed. 
  4. Don’t leave the tree lights “on” when you are away from home or when you have gone to sleep.
  5. Never overload your electrical outlets.
  6. Consider purchasing a tree pretreated with a fire retardant or treat your tree with an approved fire retardant (for a list of approved fire retardants, visit the Office of the State Fire Marshall’s website
  7. Working smoke alarms in your home reduces one's chance of dying in a fire by nearly 50%. Test the smoke alarm monthly and replace batteries twice a year.
  8.  82% of fire deaths occur in the home. Practice your families exit drill and make sure everyone knows where your meeting place is. If you do not have an exit drill, create one now. Do not forget to review this fire exit drill with house guests.
“If you follow these simple steps,” cautions Chief Bill Holmes of the Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento-Alpine Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) “you can help prevent a potentially deadly fire.”

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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