Fire department offers tips for a fire-safe Christmas

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The St. John’s Regional Fire Department offers a number of timps to ensure a happy and fire-safe Christmas season.


• Keep Christmas trees away from fireplaces, furnace vents, space heaters and radiators.

• Decorations and Christmas trees should have a flame retardant label and not block any exits.

• Buy fresh, natural trees and keep the base of the trunk in water at all times. When the tree starts to dry out, it is time to throw it out. Make a fresh cut 1” - 2” from the butt of the trunk for better water absorption.

• Check all lights and electrical cords. Broken lights and frayed cords should be replaced immediately.

• Never leave candles unattended and keep candles in a non-combustible holder away from children, pets and combustible materials. Snuff them out before leaving the room.

• Use clips, not nails, to hang decoration lights so the cords do not get damaged.

• Develop a fire escape plan for your family and make sure any guests know your plan.

• Ask smokers to smoke outside, provide large deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.

• Turn off all decoration lights before leaving the house or going to bed.

• Smoke alarms should be tested monthly by pressing the test button. Replace batteries every six months or sooner if the low battery warning sounds.

• Use extension cords wisely and only as a temporary connection. Don’t place them under rugs as this can damage the cords.

• Only use lights and extension cords outside that have been approved for outdoor use.

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