TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The holiday season means a surge in home fires, and the Tucson Fire Department is teaming up with the Red Cross to remind everyone to make safety a priority while you celebrate.
Some tips from TFD's Assistant Fire Chief Laura Baker and the American Red Cross:
- Keep heat sources like space heaters, candles, and appliances at least three feet away from furniture or Christmas tree
- Make sure to keep your tree watered; a dry tree is a fire waiting to happen
- Never leave food that is cooking unattended, and keep a fire extinguisher nearby
- When choosing a Christmas tree, purchase one that is flame retardant metallic or artificial.
- Before stringing your holiday lights, be sure there are no frayed electrical cords, the lights are in good working condition, and they are used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Unplug your tree and holiday lights when you leave the house and when you go to bed.
- Never leave burning candles unattended and extinguish them when going to bed.
- Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
- Many people spend a lot of time during the Holidays cooking and baking. However, the kitchen is also one of the most common places for a home fire to start. When using potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper, kitchen towels, and other flammable items, be sure to keep them well clear of the stove top. Never leave the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or using an open flame
“One of the leading causes of fires to homes in our community involves cooking or starts in the kitchen,” said Asst. Chief Baker. “So never leave a cooking fire unattended.”
Every home must have a working smoke alarm. If you need a smoke alarm, Red Cross can help for free, by calling 520-318-6869.
The U.S. Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association state that nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays. These fires claim more than 500 lives, cause more than 2,200 injuries and cost over $500 million in property damage. The most common causes of home fires are from Christmas trees, candles and supplemental heating sources.
The Red Cross wants to remind the public that if a fire or other disaster does strike, the local Arizona chapter is ready to help.
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