The holidays can bring some of the most joyous times of the year, but Division Chief Keith Swindle of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said that the weeks that follow are some of the most dangerous when it comes to house fires.
“A heightened awareness of fire and home safety is imperative,” Swindle said in a recent press release. “The introduction of new items (decorations) during the holidays, (many of which are combustible) into the homes increases the risk of fire and personal hazards.”
To help local residents avoid tragedy following the holidays, the fire department released an extensive list of safety tips to ensure families appropriately address potential fire hazards. Below is a summary of that list.
- Dispose of Christmas tree soon and ensure they are not close to an sources of ignition like fireplaces, candles or smoking materials
- Once outside the home, make sure the tree is properly taken care of through a sanctioned program
- Inspect electrically operated decorations by checking for loose connections or frayed wires
- Once decorations have been packed up, be sure to store them at least three feet away from any heating source such as a furnace
- Check internal heating sources for proper ventilation and cleanliness
- Clean and inspect chimney while ensuring all ashes are discarded appropriately in metal containers—not paper or cardboard containers
- Examine furnace for holes, cracks or soot along its seems
- Check smoke detector batteries