SARASOTA COUNTY – Holiday celebrations can put homes at risk for fire. Residents can keep their homes safe for the holidays by following these safety tips before, during and after the celebrations.
Put candles securely in non-tip candle holders and well away from anything that could catch on fire. Don’t leave candles unattended, and blow them out before leaving the room or going to sleep.
Use flame-retardant or noncombustible costumes and decorations. Supervise children and keep them away from matches, lighters and candles.
When cooking for holiday visitors, keep an eye on the range. Three out of every 10 reported home fires start in the kitchen, more than any other place in the home.
Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and make sure every member of the household knows how to use it properly. Provide smokers with large, deep, no-tip ashtrays. Empty ashtrays often, and pour water over the contents before dumping them. After a party, check cushions and furniture for smoldering cigarette butts.
Buy a fresh tree that does not have shedding needles. Cut the trunk at an angle and install the tree in a large, deep, no-tip stand well away from fireplaces, exits and heat sources. Ensure the tree has a constant supply of water, and check it daily. Make sure artificial trees are flame-retardant. Throw away sets of lights that have cracked or frayed cords or loose or damaged sockets, and unplug all decorative lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
For more information on keeping the family safe for the holidays, call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000, or visit www.Ready.gov.
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