As families begin celebrating the holiday season, the State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind everyone that with holiday candles, lights, and trees come risks for fires.

You can prevent fire in your home by following these simple safety tips:

· The single biggest fire risk to homeowners is allowing your tree to become dry. Always pick a fresh tree and keep it well watered.

· Be mindful not to place your tree too close to a heat source like a fireplace or heat vent, as it could catch fire more easily.

· Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.

· When the tree becomes dry, remove it from your home right away. The best way to get rid of your tree is to take itto a recycling center or have it collected by a community pick-up service. Contact your City or Town for more information about Christmas tree recycling programs and drop off points.

· Check holiday lights each year:

-Look for wires that are worn out, coming apart, have bare spots, gaps in the insulation.

-Also be aware of broken or cracked sockets, and a lot of bends or twists in the wire.

· Only use laboratory-tested lighting and extension cords that are compliant with federal standards.

· Never overload outlets or extension cords, connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.

· Do not leave the holiday lights on unless someone is in the room.

· Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders where they cannot be easily knocked over and start a fire.

· Never leave your home with candles burning.

· When the tree becomes dry, remove it from your home right away. The best way to get rid of your tree is to take it to a recycling center or have it collected by a community pick-up service. Contact your City or Town for more information about Christmas tree recycling programs and drop off points.

Be prepared for a fire:

· Make sure you have a working smoke alarm that can properly detect flames and smoke which is called a “dual sensor smoke alarm.” A properly operating smoke alarm is among the best defenses a homeowner can employ in reducing damage and protecting loved ones.

· Have an escape plan and practice it twice a year. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two escape routes from their bedrooms.

The Arizona Department of Fire, Building and Life Safety encourages Arizonan’s to take these necessary precautions so everyone may enjoy a safe and happy holiday season. For more information, go to www.dfbls.az.gov

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