Have a Fire Safe Holiday

Press Release
Fire and Life Safety
Public Information Office

December 13, 2012

The Holiday Season is upon us and Alaskans are busy decorating their homes and offices with
colorful lights and ornaments. It is important not to forget fire safety in our haste to get our
decorating, baking, and shopping done for the Holidays. Many people choose to use natural cut
trees to decorate their homes. Beautiful decorations are traditional in the lives of Alaskans, but it
is important to know that these decorations lead to added fire risks if safety precautions are not
followed.
Alaska State Fire Marshal Kelly Nicolello offers these fire safety tips to help make your Holiday
Season safe and memorable:
When decorating for the holidays, guard against blocking exit doors with Christmas trees
or decorations that could interfere with being able to escape in the event of a fire.
Natural cut trees should be secured in a sturdy tree-stand to prevent falling or being
knocked over.
Christmas trees should be freshly cut and placed in water the entire time the tree is inside



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your home.
Only use “cool lamp” holiday lights for inside decorations that have been approved by a
nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL.
Before stringing lights, check for loose connections, broken or cracked sockets, frayed
wires or places where bare wire is exposed.
Damaged sets of lights should be discarded.
Always remember to turn off decorative lights when you leave your home or retire for the
evening.
Dispose of your tree when the needles begin to brown or fall in large quantities. This is a
sign that the tree is dangerously dry.
Keep flammable decorations away from heat sources.
Do not overload electrical circuits.
Consider using flameless battery powered candles instead of standard ones.
Nicolello adds, “fire safe behavior can keep a fire from starting. Working smoke alarms, planning
and practicing your fire escape plan and adding residential fire suppression sprinklers can ensure
your family’s safety from a fire during the holidays and all year long.”
For more information contact: Mahlon Greene at (907) 746-5062, email mahlon.greene@alaska.gov
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