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Scarsdale Fire Department Offers Holiday Season Fire Prevention Tips

The holiday season can increase the danger of fire in the home, so extra precautions are needed..
The holiday season can increase the danger of fire in the home, so extra precautions are needed.. Photo Credit: File photo

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

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.

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