Here are some safety tips from Mentor Fire Chief Richard Harvey. Enjoy them and have a safe and happy Christmas (and Boxing Day):
The holiday season becomes a busy time for our safety forces and it is often the small decisions that can make a considerable difference – a candle left burning, a dry Christmas tree or child left alone even for a moment – that could have life-changing consequences. When it comes to holiday dangers, the numbers are more startling than you might think:
- Nationally, each year, fires occurring during the holiday season claim the lives of more than 400 Americans, injure 1,650 more and cause more than $990 million in damage.
- Candle-related fires are one of the most common holiday home hazards, averaging more than 12,000 each year, resulting in 136 deaths, more than 1,000 injuries and $450 million in direct property damage.
- About 5,800 people – two to three every hour – were treated in emergency departments for fall-related injuries sustained while decorating during the holiday seasons.
By taking simple steps, we have an opportunity to help change these statistics together.
If you have a live Christmas tree, please remember to add water every day.
If you use candles do not leave them unattended.
Please don’t discard ashes from your fireplace into the trash. We recently had ashes discarded into a plastic garbage can which caught fire. Thankfully a neighbor noticed the fire before it extended to the home that the garbage can was stored against. Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace.
Remember to have your chimneys cleaned and inspected annually.
When using decorative lighting, make sure that they are UL approved and do not use indoor lighting outside.
As always, check your smoke detectors and have a fire escape plan for your family. For more safety tips, please visit our Fire Department’s website.