Frederick Volunteer Fire Department's Top 10 List For Holiday
CHRISTMAS TREE: If you have a live tree inside your
home, please check the water daily. It's a great chore for
kids for the month of December. If your tree is artificial,
please double check to make sure it is fire retardant.
is a recipe to ensure your tree is fire retardant:
OUTLETS: Don't overload outlets with holiday lights
and make sure all electrical wires are in working order.
SMOKE DETECTORS: Setting the clocks forwards and
backwards is a great time to check smoke detectors, but so
are the holidays. Consider changing out batteries and doing
a check on all detectors inside your houses. They should be
placed on each level of your home. If you need help with
this, consider contacting our station for assistance.
HEAT SOURCES: Fire places and wood burning stoves are
running strong this winter, please put the hot ashes from
those units in a metal bucket and store away from the home.
CANDLES: Burning candles? Make sure they are far
enough away from anything that could catch fire and double
check to make sure all are blown out before heading to bed.
The American Red Cross says candle fires are four times more
likely to occur over the holidays.
LIGHTS: The holiday lights are beautiful, but please
consider unplugging before you turn in for the night. Also,
double check to make sure those lights aren't broken,
cracked or have bare spots on the strands.
WOOD BURNING: Seasoned wood is the best thing for you to
burn. It's not wise to throw wrapping paper and other debris
in your fireplace or wood burning stove to eliminate waste.
FOOD: Consider setting a timer on your phone to alert
you, in case you forget something is on the stove.
Statistics prove unattended cooking is the leading cause of
holiday fires this season.
DECORATION PLACEMENT: Ensure all of your exits are
clear and do not block any doors with trees, displays or any
other type of holiday decor.
ALL TREES: Make sure your tree is at least three feet
away from heat sources and at the end of the holiday season,
consider tossing out the tree before the New Year. The
Consumer Product Safety Commission says holiday trees
contribute to 400 fires every season.
venturing out on a frozen lake or pond keep in mind: There is
no such thing as 100 percent safe ice. Recommended minimum ice
of new clear ice is the minimum thickness for travel on foot
5" is minimum for snowmobiles and ATVs
8"- 12" for cars or small trucks
that the recommended thickness' are merely guidelines for new,
clear, solid ice. Many factors other than thickness can cause
ice to be unsafe.
Together for Home Fire Safety
than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and approximately
25,000 are injured. An overwhelming number of fires occur in
the home. There are time-tested ways to prevent and survive a
fire. It's not a question of luck. It's a matter of planning
Alarm for the Hearing Impaired
who are hearing impaired should use alarms with strobe (flashing)
lights that have been tested by an independent testing laboratory.
The alarms for sleeping areas with strobe lights are required to be
of a special high intensity that can wake a sleeping person. Most
major smoke alarm companies offer alarms with strobe lights. For
information on availability and pricing, go to the manufacturers'
installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing light, vibration
and/or sound to alert people to a fire emergency. The majority
of fatal fires occur when people are sleeping, and because smoke
can put people into a deeper sleep, it is important to have the
necessary early warning of a fire to ensure that they wake up.
sure that the smoke alarm you buy carries the label of an
independent testing laboratory.
there is fire or smoke, get out immediately and go to the
designated meeting place. But if you are trapped by fire or
smoke, have your TTY/TTD device or other alerting system close
to the bed so that communication with emergency personnel is
possible should fire or smoke trap you in your room.
with a 10-year lithium batteries eliminate the problem of having
to change batteries. The batteries are designed to
last the life of an alarm. Ten-year battery alarms still need to
be tested in accordance with manufacturers' instructions at
least once a month.
that go off because of burnt toast, steam, or other
non-threatening sources can be a nuisance and can discourage
people from using smoke alarms. Use alarms with a silencing
feature that can be pressed to delay the alarm for a short
period time. If the smoke does not clear in a certain amount of
time, the alarm will sound again.
smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside each
separate sleeping area. If you sleep with bedroom doors closed,
have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms
in each room so when one sounds, they all sound. Install a
new battery in all conventional alarms at least once a year. Test
your alarm at least once a month, following the manufacturer's
everyone in your home and make a home escape plan, making
provisions for anyone who has a disability. Practice your plan
at least twice a year.
Home Should Have at Least One Working Smoke Alarm
a smoke alarm at any hardware or discount store. It's
inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a
smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm
can double your chances of survival. Test it monthly, keep it
free of dust and replace the battery at least once a year.
Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after ten years of
service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Home Should Have at Least One Working Carbon Monoxide Alarm
year in America, carbon monoxide poisoning claims
approximately 480 lives and sends another 15,200 people to
hospital emergency rooms for treatment.1 USFA would
like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to
protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Please
read and follow the safety tips contained in the factsheets on
overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and
wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas.
Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark
or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or
using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety precautions.
Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning
signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or
repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps
to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small
children in the home.
heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at
least three feet away.
fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your
chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite
a chimney fire that could easily spread.
heaters should be used only where approved by authorities.
Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and
only after the heater has cooled.
Home Fire Safety Sprinklers
home fire sprinklers are used with working smoke alarms, your
chances of surviving a fire are greatly increased. Sprinklers
are affordable - they can increase property value and lower
an escape plan from every room in the house. Caution everyone
to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to
open doors that are hot. Select a location where everyone can
meet after escaping the house. Get out then call for help.
under five are naturally curious about fire. Many play with
matches and lighters. Tragically, children set over 20,000
house fires every year. Take the mystery out of fire play by
teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
for Older People
year over 1,200 senior citizens die in fires. Many of these
fire deaths could have been prevented. Seniors are especially
vulnerable because many live alone and can't respond quickly.
More Information Contact:
United States Fire Administration
National Fire Programs Division
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
visit the USFA Web site: www.usfa.fema.gov
Information for this fact sheet was provided by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission.