SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- The Scarsdale Fire Department and the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs offer the following holiday season fire prevention safety tips to help residents stay safe during the holidays.
- Many artificial trees are fire resistant. If you buy one, look for a statement specifying this protection.
- A fresh tree will stay green longer and be less of a fire hazard than a dry tree. To check for freshness, remember: A fresh tree is green. Fresh needles are hard to pull from branches. When bent between your fingers, fresh needles do not break.
- Place tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption.
Artificial snow sprays can irritate lungs if inhaled. To avoid injury, read container labels and follow directions carefully.
- Use only lights that have been tested for safety.
- Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Discard damaged sets or repair them before using.
- Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
- Turn off all lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
- Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
- Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
- Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
- Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
- Choose tinsel or artificial icicles or plastic or non-leaded metals.
- In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
- Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children. Pieces could be swallowed or inhaled.
- Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food. A child could eat them.
- Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers and other decorations from fireplace area.
- Check to see that flue is open.
- Keep a screen in front of the fireplace the entire time a fire is burning.
Paper and Wrappings
- When making paper decorations, look for materials labeled non-combustible or flame resistant.
- Never place trimming near open flames or electrical connections.
- Do not burn papers in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.