The Merced City Fire Department would like to wish your family a safe and happy holiday season --Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years--is a prime time for residential fires. The following holiday fire safety information is being offered to help ensure that your family will be safe.
- Watch a sobering video on how fast a Christmas tree fire can spread!
- Trees displayed in public buildings must be treated with an approved State Fire Marshal Flame Retardant Chemical.
- Unless your tree is a "choose and cut", re-cut the trunk at least 1 inch above the original cut.
- Place the tree in a container or stand that will hold enough hot tap water to cover the stem at least two inches. Add water as needed.
- Display the tree away from heat sources.
- Use a stand that will hold the tree securely and is not easily tipped over.
- Do not locate trees in front of exit doors, in exit ways, or corridors.
- Use only U.L. approved products.
- Check for old or worn insulation, cracked or broken sockets and loose connections. Discard if any of these conditions exit.
- If using lights outside, be sure they are labeled "for outside use". Never use indoor lights outside.
- Always unplug lights when leaving the house, retiring for the night, or when otherwise not in use.
- Never put lights on metallic trees.
- Never run extension cords under carpets, across walkways, under heaters, or pinched behind furniture.
- Do not overload outlets.
- Keep candles away from tree and other flammable decorations.
- Place in sturdy, non-flammable holders or non-tip holders.
- Keep candles well away from curtains and other combustible articles.
- Never put candles in windows or near exits.
- Never leave candles burning unattended or within reach of children.
- Extinguish candles by wetting the wick before leaving the room or retiring for the night.
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned prior to burning season. Be sure it is equipped with a proper spark arrester.
- Keep screen or glass doors closed to confine embers and sparks.
- Never burn Christmas tree branches or gift wrapping in fireplace.
- Do not leave children unattended when fireplace is in use.
- Keep combustible decorations away from and around fireplaces.
- Do not break apart man-made logs.
- Make sure fire is safely contained before leaving the room or retiring for the night.
- Dispose of ashes in a metal container. Never put ashes in cardboard boxes, paper bags or plastic containers.
- Place metal container with discarded ashes at least six feet away from structures and combustibles.
- Discarded ashes will continue to smolder for days, up to three or more, so take note when placing on curb for garbage pickup.
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from furniture, bedding, clothing, walls and other combustibles.
- Use only U.L. approved space heaters approved for indoor use.
- Use flame retardant decorations.
- Provide smokers with large, deep, non-tip ashtrays.
- Empty ashtrays often--wet their contents before dumping them.
- Check cushions and furniture for smoldering cigarettes.
- Do not wear loose fitting clothing when cooking.
- Put a lid on the pot or pan to extinguish food or grease fires.
- Turn off heat and close oven door to extinguish a fire in the oven.
- Keep pot handles and electrical appliance cords out of the reach of small children.
- Have two emergency escape routes out of each room.
- Have fire extinguisher handy, and know how to use it.
- Smoke detector(s) - install fresh batteries (if applicable) and test regularly.
- Carbon monoxide detector(s) - install fresh batteries and test regularly.
- All family members should know to call "911" in case of an emergency.