KINGSPORT – Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. The Kingsport Fire Department would like to share a few simple National Fire Protection Association tips for Christmas decorating safety to ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season
- Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
- Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturers instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
- Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
- Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
- Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
- Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
- Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind smokers to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding
Picking the tree
- If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1″ – 2″ from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Read manufacturers instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Dried out trees can become deadly. Watch what happens to a dried out tree if it were to catch fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNjO3wZDVlA
- Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles.
- Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
- Kingsport residents can place their clean live tree at the curb for pick up after the holidays.
- Check with your local community to find a recycling program.
- Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.