GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - The holidays are here, and with all of the lights, candles, baking and decorating, it's a good time to teach fire safety. These lessons can start young! We went to a classroom at Century Park Learning Center in Grandville where E.S.C.A.P.E., Inc. shares important safety information with children to bring home for their families. Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home. Make sure all exits are accessible and not blocked by decorations or trees. Help ensure that you have a fire safe holiday season with these important facts and tips.
· 81% of all fire deaths and 76% of all fire injuries occurred in residential buildings. Christmas Day is the peak day for most fatal residential home fires.
· Holiday decorations increase the incident of home fires.
· Keep a live Christmas tree watered and away from heat sources.
· Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires annually. Shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires.
· Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory (like U.L.).
· Do NOT overload electrical outlets. Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an approved extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Feel the wires to make sure they are not warm to the touch.
· Do NOT leave holiday lights on unattended.
· Use only nonflammable or flame-retardant decorations and keep them away from heat vents.
· Don’t block exits with holiday decorations or trees.
· Never place wrapping paper in the fireplace.
· Never leave a burning candle unattended. Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
· If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Keep a 1 foot “circle of safety” clear from the candle preventing anything that can catch fire.
· Never put lit candles on a live or artificial tree.