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It's that time of year when family and friend like to gather around a fire pit or make a bonfire, here are some safety tips from Smokey the Bear on preparing for your warm toasty fire.
Here is a list of holiday fire safety tips from NFPA and FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration:
1) When choosing a tree, look for one that is fresh and has green needles that don't fall out. Brownish needles mean the tree is dried out and more prone to catch fire.
2) Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out.
3) Check the manufacturer's labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
4) Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.
5) Don't connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
6) Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candles or lights.
7) Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit. In case there is a fire, you want a way to get out.
8) Always turn off lights on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home.
9) Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping. It means the tree is drying out.
10) Check that your smoke alarm is working properly.
Have A Safe And Happy Holiday
Each year, Fire & Rescue Crews respond to fires that are caused by improper disposal of hot coals or ashes from fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, grills or mobile fireplaces designed for use on decks or patios.
The fact is that coals and ashes from fires can remain hot enough to start a fire for many days after you think the fire is out. The exact amount of time for complete extinguishment and cooling depends on many factors such as how hot the fire was, what was burning, how much unburned fuel remains, etc.
To be safe, simply treat all ashes and coals as hot, even when you think they had time enough to cool.
To properly dispose of ashes or coals we recommend the following:
If possible, allow ashes and coals to cool in the area where you had the fire for several days. These devices are designed to contain their heat safely.
When it is time to dispose of the ashes, transfer them to a metal container and wet them down.
Keep the metal container outside your home and away from any combustibles until the refuse is hauled away.
DO NOT place any other combustibles in the metal container.
DO NOT use a combustible container.
More Fireplace Safety Tips
Have your chimney inspected annually, and cleaned as necessary, by a professional chimney sweep to ensure it is clear of obstructions and creosote.
Repair any cracks in your chimney and fireplace.
Use fireplace screens to keep sparks and fire debris inside the fireplace.
Do not use an accelerant to start a fire.
Ensure the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house.
Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of all combustibles (Three feet away is a good rule).
Keep all children and pets a safe distance from fireplaces.
Install both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
Observe all safety precautions when using outdoor fireplaces they can be just as dangerous as indoor units
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OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
"To save lives and protect the property of all residents and visitors to the Crown King area, whenever and wherever the need arises."