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Holiday Fire Safety Tips from the Ankeny Fire Department

Post Date:12/21/2018 8:24 a.m.

The Ankeny Fire Department encourages everyone to be fire safe this holiday season.  The Ankeny Fire Department will display a wreath with all green lights, and is hoping to keep these lights green by avoiding holiday fires in Ankeny.  Help us to Keep the Wreath Green by following these additional precautionary tips.

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

  • Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
    •  Choose a tree with fresh green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Caring for Your Tree
    • Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
    • Be careful to keep candles, lighters, and smoking materials away from trees. 
    • Water your tree daily, keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. 
    • Discard the tree when it is dry.
  • Disposing of Your Tree
    • Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
    • When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. (The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away during the City of Ankeny Holiday Tree Pick-up, beginning Jan. 7.)

Holiday Lights and Decorations

  • Maintain Your Holiday Lights
    •  Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections before putting them up.
    • Check to see if your lights are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Indoor lights and rain water do not mix. Check the safety rating and lab testing  information stamped on each strand of lights if you're not sure.
  • Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
    • Do not link more light strands than the manufacturer’s instructions indicate is safe.
    • Make sure to periodically check the wires, they should not be warm to the touch.
  • Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended
    • Turn off all lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  •  Artificial Christmas Trees and Wreaths
    • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

Candle Care

  • Avoid Using Lit Candles if possible, there are a number of flame-less options. If you do burn candles:
    • Make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down.
    • Keep all combustible items away from lit candles.
    • Keep children and pets away from lit candles. 
    • Never leave the house or go to sleep with candles burning.  

General Fire Safety Tips

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms inside and outside every sleeping area 
    and on every level of your home.
  • Practice your fire escape plans with holiday guests  and visitors.
  • Always close bedroom doors when sleeping.
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