Firefighter tips on preventing holiday fires
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 23, 2013 | 938 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Firefighters this holiday season are encouraging folks to be safe with their Christmas trees as a Christmas tree fire could ruin a festive occasion. Patterson/West Stanislaus Fire Prevention Specialist Carrie Silveira said there are several guidelines everyone should follow in enjoying their Christmas tree this season:

If the tree has not been freshly cut, before placing the tree in the stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk. Some trees have been cut for a month before they reached California, drying them out.

Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.

Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.

Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.

Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Watch pets around the tree and lights. Make sure they are not chewing or playing with cords.

Live Christmas trees should be disposed of as quickly as possible after Christmas, as some have been up for a month and are dry. Check the needles to see if they are dry and falling off. If so, the tree should be discarded.

To discard of Christmas Trees, place them in the street in Patterson after the New Year Holiday. Bertolotti Disposal will be picking them up on a schedule throughout January.

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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