Fire safety tips for a joyous holiday season

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-116543517522757.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘After 5 seconds, the entire Christmas tree is up in flames. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause more than $930 million ‘);

The Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross would like to remind the community to use their safety sense throughout the holiday season. The following American Red Cross holiday fire safety tips pinpoint ways to avoid potential dangers associated with winter weather and the holiday season.

Take caution with holiday candles: Be sure to keep candles away from decorations and other flammable materials. Never leave children unattended in a room with lit candles, and always keep candles, as well as matches and lighters, out of the reach of children. Never use candles to decorate a Christmas tree.

Christmas trees: Secure the Christmas tree in a sturdy stand. Place the tree away from any heat sources and exits. If you purchase an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled as fire-retardent.

Decoration lights: When decorating with lights, be sure to not overload electrical outlets. For outside decorations, use only those lights labeled for outdoor use.

Fireplaces: Have your chimney and fireplace inspected by a professional prior to the start of every heating season, and cleaned if necessary. Never use flammable liquids in a fireplace.

Portable and space heaters: Take extreme caution when using portable or space heaters. Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything combustible, including wallpaper, bedding, clothing, etc. Never leave space heaters operating when you are not in the room or when you go to bed.

Cook with care: When cooking, do not wear loose-fitting clothing. Always turn pot handles in. Turn off the stove after every use. Don’t use appliances with frayed or cracked wires.

From the Dec. 6 – Dec. 12, 2006, issue

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