(East Farmingdale, NY)- The holiday season for many is a happy joyous time of the year but for some it can turn tragic if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. On Tuesday, Nassau County officials gathered at the Firefighters Museum & Education Center to stress the importance of staying vigilant in hydrating an all-natural Christmas tree and show how quickly a tree could go up in flames.
Fire officials at the Nassau County V.E.E.B. Fire Service Academy, demonstrated how fast a tree can catch fire in a controlled burn.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “We all know this has been a year like no other, which is why many of our residents are already decking the halls to make the holiday season as memorable as possible by installing extravagant decorations and more are choosing live trees over artificial trees than normal. We want the season to spark joy not fire, and that is why we are encouraging all residents to follow simple fire safety tips,”
County Executive Curran reminds residents of the following Holiday Fire Safety tips:
- Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
- Never leave a lit candle, menorah or kinara unattended.
- Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
- Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
- Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
- Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety and throw out any damaged lights.
- Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
- Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.
- The holiday season is a great time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working.
Photo: Office of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran