Fire Department Offers Tips For Safe Holiday Heating and Decorating

OSWEGO, NY – With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to take a few moments to be sure that the season is not only a joyous one, but a safe one.

Many households have changes to their usual home décor buy putting up various types of holiday symbols.

These should be constantly monitored to make sure they are working properly and within the manufactures specifications.

This along with the early portion of the home heating season is why homes are more susceptible to fire at this time of year.

First and foremost, be sure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working condition.

This starts with replacing the batteries (if you did not when you turned back your clocks, do so now) and testing all detectors.

Old detectors should be replaced with new ones and even ones that are hard wired need to have their batteries replaced in the event of a power outage.

Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” and again with the heating season under way, please make sure not only that you have the right amount of these devices, but that all home heating equipment is serviced and working properly.

Fresh trees should be just that, fresh.

When you are selecting a tree, if multiple needles are already falling off, it may not be fresh.

Shake the tree to be sure of this.

Do not place it near a heat source including vents, fireplaces and woodstoves.

Be sure to water it on a daily basis and when it appears to be dropping a large amount of needles, it is time to get rid of it.

Artificial trees should be of the nonflammable type.

Be certain that your holiday lights are in good condition before putting them up.

Test them and check for frayed or exposed wires or any damage.

If you find any, discard them rather that attempting a repair.

Do not overload electrical outlets and do not link more strands of lights together than directions indicate.

Make sure extension cords are in good condition and are not placed under carpets or pinched in windows or doors.

Check on a regular basis.

Use only nonflammable decorations and again keep away from heating sources.

Make sure that exits are not obstructed by seasonal decorations.

Also make sure that you maintain multiple exits out of your home in the event of an emergency.

This also includes a buildup of snow or ice that will prevent you from using an exit.

Candles must never be left unattended.

Be sure also they are in stable holders and away from anything flammable.

Also make sure they are away from the reach of children and where pets may knock them over.

As with most things, a little common sense can go a long way.

Keep a close eye on these things and continue to monitor them for changing conditions.

On behalf of the men and women of the Oswego Fire Department, have a very safe and joyous holiday season.