The Chief’s Corner

By Robert W. Seltzer, BSEE, EFO, MPA, Smithfield Fire Dept. Chief

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

Holiday Decorating

Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Holiday Entertaining

Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

Before Heading Out or to Bed

Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

(Information provided by the National Fire Protection Association)

The Smithfield Times, Inc. 29

On behalf of all

the members of the

Smithfield Fire Department, have a safe and joyous

holiday season!