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Fire Marshal Offers Tree Safety Tips

The holidays bring joy and festivity - but also increased fire risk. The Doylestown Borough Fire Marshal offers tips on reducing that risk.

Kelli Scarlett has seen her fair share of fires.

As fire marshal for Doylestown Borough, Scarlett knows that tragedy can strike anyone - it's not just something that happens to someone else.

On Monday, she offered tips on reducing your family's fire risk during the holidays.

Here are some of her suggestions:

Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire. 

Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever-popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy.

  • Don’t put your live Christmas tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
  • Place trees away from heat sources, including fireplaces or heat vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
  • Keep the live tree stand filled with water at all times.
  • Use only nonflammable decorations.
  • Don’t link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it’s safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
  • Avoid using lit candles; consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles
  • Ensure that Christmas trees and other holiday decorations don’t block an exit way.

For more tips on how to prevent a holiday fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website at www.usfa.fema.gov

Frank Dolski December 08, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Fire safety should be #1 on everyone's mind on a year round basis. Especially during the holiday season where there are potential opportunities for tree fires and more!

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