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A Winter Holiday Safety Tale

| Public Fire and Life Safety Educator JBSA-Randolph | Dec. 17, 2015

JBSA-Fort Sam Houston —

T’was the night before Christmas and all thru the house,

Not a candle was flickering and the lights were all out.

While the flame retardant stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

 In hope that St. Nick would soon be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of electronic games played in their heads.

And mama in her ‘kerchief, and papa in his cap,

Smoke detectors stood ready to wake them from their nap. 

With UL lights hung on a well-watered Christmas tree,

It was sure to be a fire safe holiday festivity.

When St. Nick arrived with a fire inspector by his side, 

They landed on the roof, ready to inspect inside.

They whisked themselves down the chimney in a poof,

 The fire inspector exclaimed “There’s no proof of fire hazards under this roof.”

With a silent and joyous laugh St. Nick did exclaim, 

“I will fill their stockings and gifts for the family to claim, 

Like an extinguisher, exit plan, and detectors just to name a few.  

Should a fire break out this family will know what to do.”

The fire inspector said with glee,

“This family will be truly safe from a fire tragedy.”

Without any further ado, As they flew through the air in their fire engine sleigh,

“Happy Holidays to one and all,” they were heard to say.

 

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season.

 

Picking the tree:

• Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Placing the tree:

• Before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk.

• Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

• Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree:

• Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

• Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.

• Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed

Facts:

• One of every three home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical fire. 

• Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.

• A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every six of the fires.

After Christmas:

• Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry.

• Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

• Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

• Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

To learn more about Christmas tree safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website at http://www.nfpa.org/education or contact the fire prevention offices at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston at 221-2727, JBSA-Lackland at 671-2921 or JBSA-Randolph at 652-6915.