DON’T LET YOUR HOLIDAY TREE GO UP IN SMOKE
MEDIA SAFETY DEMONSTRATION
WHEN: 3 p.m. Thursday, December 15
WHERE: Broward Fire Academy
2600 SW 71 Ter., Davie
Homemade holiday tree decorations can be fun to make, yet dangerous if your Christmas tree is not properly maintained. At 3 p.m. Thursday, December 15, the Broward Sheriff Fire Marshal’s Bureau in conjunction with the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office will conduct a public safety demonstration at the Broward Fire Academy in Davie. Firefighters will show how easily homemade decorations can ignite, and when coupled with an under-watered, dry tree, how quickly your holidays and your home can go up in smoke.
“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday season, so it’s a good time for a safety reminder,” said Sheriff Al Lamberti.
The number of Christmas tree fires spikes during the week of December 22-28th, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This is due in part to people having the trees since Thanksgiving and, if not watered daily, the trees can dry out and become highly flammable. In 2005-2009, on average, one of every 18 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 141 total home fires. Additionally, December is the leading month for candle fires, with Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as two of the top five days for such fires. Those two days also show a marked increase in home cooking fires.
Top 10 tips for maintaining a fire-safe tree:
1. Only use lights approved by a testing laboratory and decorations that are flame-resistant or flame-retardant
2. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use tree lights
3. Always unplug Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed
4. Never use lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
5. Never use lit candles as tree decorations or place them near trees
6. Water trees daily to keep them moist
7. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it is fire-retardant
8. Always watch children when they are around the tree
9. Position trees near an outlet so that cords are not running long distances. Don’t overload electrical outlets
10. Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in the house or garage, or placed against the house
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