December 2, 2015 (San Diego's East County) - If you haven’t already, many of you have been thinking about pulling out those holiday decorations. ‘Tis the season’ but let’s exercise good common sense to ensure our holidays don't end up tragically reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
Let's start from the inside and then to the outside:
Inside: Use only lights that have been tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory. Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets.
Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord. When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label "Fire Resistant." When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. When setting up a tree at home, place it away from fireplaces and heat vents. Heated rooms dry live trees out rapidly, be sure to keep the stand filled with water. Do not block doorways. Avoid using candles.
Outside: Make sure that the strings of lights you are using outside have built-in fuses on the lines. Check the actual plug. Make sure you are using lights designated for outdoor use only. Use UL or approved Christmas lights and decorations only.
When using a ladder use caution. Ensure it is safe and secure on even ground. Avoid using them in wet areas or lawns where the soil is soft. Have an additional person “foot/secure” the ladder and look out for energized power-lines above.
There’s a lot more to cover, so most importantly, use good common sense, following all safety directions, go to your local fire station or visit: http://www.esfi.org/program/
Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna