Holiday Safety Tips from the Charlottesville Fire Department
It's time to deck the halls for the holidays, but all of those decorations could be a fire just waiting to happen.
Fire officials from the city of Charlottesville are urging people to take precautions when putting up lights, trees, and decorations, as well as when lighting candles and burning fires in fireplaces.
"We just want people this holiday season to be safe," said Battalion Chief Richard Jones, public information officer for the Charlottesville Fire Department.
Between Christmas lights, candles, fireplaces, and all those flammable decorations, there's a lot to look out for. "With the holiday season we do see more frequency of incidents, a lot of them are attributed to cooking during the holiday season," Jones said. "A lot of kitchen fires."
That's a lesson Jessica Stewart learned when her mom was cooking a Christmas day meal.
"I guess she had the temperature turned up too high for what was in the oven, so the oven started smoking and there were flames," she said.
Everything turned out fine for Stewart's family that Christmas, but the safety risks don't stop there. Christmas trees are also something you need to use special precaution with.
"If it's a real tree keep water at the base of the tree, make sure that the needles are not dry and falling off," Jones said. "Those are all important things to keep the tree from catching fire."
And this is yet another incident Stewart is familiar with. One Christmas her mantle caught on fire from the candles that were a little too close to the live greenery.
"There was just a lot of smoke and flames and luckily it was a thick wooden mantle, so it didn't full on catch on fire," she said.
Stewart said it was a holiday her family won't soon forget. "It was an adventure... it was a Christmas adventure."
The Charlottesville Fire Department will install a free smoke detector for anyone living in the city who doesn't have one. If you call 434-970-3245 they will come to the residence and put up smoke detectors for you.
"It's the goal of the fire department to make sure every person has a working smoke detector in their residence," Jones said.
In addition, Jones said Charlottesville residents can call him at 434-970-3328 for questions about safety concerns.
"We hope everyone has a safe holiday and everyone please be smart and use good decisions and if you have any questions you can call the Charlottesville Fire Department," he said.
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