Holiday Safety | City of Monroe, Louisiana

Holiday Safety

"Here are some tips to help keep your home fire safe throughout the holidays"

Each year, dry trees cause an estimated 1,000 house fires. When picking your natural tree, choose one that is fresh and new. Check the needles on the limbs. If they are firmly attached to the limbs, then it is a fresher tree. Also, keep plenty of water in the base so the tree stays moist and fresh and less of a fire hazard.

Don't use Christmas lights with worn insulation or expose wires. If any part of the lights appears worn, broken, or loose, don't use them. Use newer lights that have the latest protective plugs and circuitry. This will help prevent not only fire, but shock and electrocution hazards.

Be careful not to overload an extension cord or power strip with too many holiday electronics. This could cause a sudden spark which could ignite a nearby dry tree or other fire hazard.

Always turn off your Christmas lights before going to bed, both inside and out!

Keep space heaters away from curtains, bedspreads, and other loose fabric. Don't let loose papers or blankets collect around heaters. Most space heaters have a housing that will become hot to the touch during use. Make sure children know to do not touch!

Only use portable heaters that have a "tip switch" that will turn the heater off in the event it is turned over on its side. Always follow manufacturer's guidelines in the use, safety precautions, electrical supply and any fueling of any heating unit. Consult the owner's manual when necessary.

Never refill an oil-based heater when it is operating or still hot. Insure wood-based heaters are properly ventilated.

Make sure your stockings are hung by the chimney with care. In this case, this means to insure they do not become a fire hazard by placing them too close to the fire. This could cause them to ignite spontaneously and be an immediate hazard.

Your fireplace should have a sturdy metal screen or heat tempered glass doors that can prevent sparks or other embers from escaping and igniting carpet or other ignitable objects nearby.

When the holidays are over, take the tree down and dispose of it properly. Usually in the Monroe area there are a few locations where trees can be taken for recycling and safe disposal.

Do not use the kitchen oven to heat your home. This is a health hazard, as it could cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home. This is also a fire hazard.

For more information, see the United States Fire Administration.