OSWEGO – Each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires involving Christmas trees. Faulty Christmas lights, overheated wiring, or nearby open flames such as candles can easily ignite a dry Christmas tree causing a fast-moving fire in the home.
On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 141 total reported home structure fires.
We recommend keeping Christmas trees away from heat sources and exits.
Watering your tree daily will help prevent it from becoming dry and hazardous.
Residents are reminded to check homes for working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and to keep exits free from being blocked by decorations.
With the recent snow, checking furnace and water heater vents is also recommended.
Blocked vents can cause a deadly buildup of carbon monoxide in the home.
“People are busy during the holiday season, and often forget to check for fire hazards,” said Oswego Fire Chief Randy Griffin. “Simple things like checking holiday lights for excessive wear, ensuring candles are out, keeping water in the tree and turning off Christmas tree lights before going to bed can keep the holiday season merry.”
Firefighters also recommend using non-flammable decorations and LED lights, and caution against leaving burning candles unattended or linking more than three strands of holiday lights.
The Oswego Fire Department wishes everyone a safe, Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!
Residents in need of smoke alarms or with questions about how to keep their homes safe can call the Oswego Fire Department headquarters at (315) 343-2161.
Stay Safe Oswego.