Stay safe this winter
‘Tis the season to be jolly, as the holiday saying goes. In many homes, this means a log on the fire, a trimmed tree, or a menorah glowing brightly. All these signs of the season bring feelings of comfort and joy to families. But what you may not realize is that they also bring an increased risk of fire in the home.
Don’t let the busyness of the season take away from important safety precautions that should be taken each winter. Increased amounts of family cooking, decorating and harsh winter weather all contribute to an increased risk of hazards, and are often overlooked during this time of year.
Lake Stevens Fire offers the following safety tips to help keep you and your family safe throughout the season:
• Keep a 3-foot “safe zone” around all heaters and fireplaces.
• Have your heating system tuned up each year.
• Dress appropriately for the weather, paying close attention to nose, ears, feet and hands.
• Choose holiday decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
• Don’t try to thaw pipes or spigots with heat guns or blow torches. Heat can build up inside the walls and start a fire.
• Use caution when driving in cold temperatures or adverse weather conditions.
• Keep a winter emergency kit in your car that includes blanket, gloves, shovel, etc. See wsdot.wa.gov for a detailed list.
• Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Keep lit candles away from anything that can burn and make sure they are in a sturdy, fireproof holder. Blow out candles when you leave a room.
• Make sure Christmas trees, real or artificial, are at least 3 feet from heat sources.
• Add water to real Christmas trees daily. Dispose of trees after Christmas or when dry. Dried out trees are fire dangers and should not be left in or near your house.
• Never use the stove, oven or BBQ as a source of heat. BBQs should never be used inside the home as it will cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home and you have a fire escape plan in case of a fire.
For additional winter safety tips, visit their website at: http://www.lsfire.org/publications_brochures.htm. Lake Stevens Fire wishes you a safe and enjoyable winter season.