Decorating for the winter holidays is fun and festive, but holiday decorations can increase the risk of fire in your home. As you deck the halls this season, take a moment to review our holiday fire safety checklist and be fire smart!
Choose a tree with fresh, springy, green needles. Add water daily to avoid letting the stand become dry. Keep trees at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, candles, heat vents or lights and ensure that trees are not blocking an exit. Ensure artificial trees are labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. Always turn off Christmas tree lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed. Remove the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dry trees are a fire hazard and shouldn’t be left inside the home, garage or placed outside directly next to the home. For information on how to recycle your Christmas tree in Loudoun County visit loudoun.gov/recycling.
Choose only flame resistant/retardant decor and keep it away from candles, fireplaces and heating equipment. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which look, smell and feel like real candles. If you use real candles, make sure they are on a sturdy surface and keep children and pets away. Ensure you are using the proper type of lights. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Replace any light strings that have worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more strands or bulbs than the manufacturer suggests. Never dispose of wrapping paper in the fireplace. Before heading out or going to bed, blow out any lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations.
REMEMBER working smoke alarms save lives! Ensure your home has working smoke alarms on every level and inside/outside sleeping areas. Test and clean smoke alarms monthly. For more information about fire safety, please contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222 or via email.
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