Fred A. Mitchell Jr., Fire Chief
47 Central Street
Georgetown, MA 01833
For Immediate Release
Monday, Dec. 12, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Georgetown Fire Department Provides Holiday Decor Safety Tips for Residents
GEORGETOWN — As residents prepare for the holidays, Chief Fred A. Mitchell Jr. and the Georgetown Fire Department urge community members to account for fire safety when planning their holiday festivities and decorating their homes this season.
“Decorating for the holidays is an important tradition for many residents, and we want to ensure that everyone remains safe while enjoying this time of year,” Chief Mitchell said. “Remember to water Christmas trees daily and keep them away from heat sources, and always keep candles away from anything that could catch fire.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one-third of home Christmas tree fires are due to electrical problems and one-quarter start when the tree is too close to a heat source.
In order to keep your home safe from fire during the holiday season this year, Chief Mitchell recommends residents consider the following safety tips outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:
- Water Christmas trees daily and remember to never place trees near heaters, fireplaces, or candles.
- Ensure artificial trees have flame retardant labels when purchasing.
- Consider switching to LED lights for your tree, as they are cooler and use less electricity.
- Remember to turn off your tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed.
- Maintain at least three feet of distance between space heaters and anything that can burn, such as curtains or holiday decor.
- Dispose of your tree shortly after the holiday and take advantage of community curbside pickup or recycling programs where available.
- For outdoor decor, make sure to purchase lights rated for outdoor use.
- Anchor outdoor lights and decor against wind and storms with insulated holders or hooks.
- Make sure to use electrical connection protectors to keep water out and make sure outdoor decorations are plugged into a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).
- Don’t overload circuits or drive nails, staples or tacks through wiring insulation.
For more information on holiday safety tips, visit the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services website or contact the Georgetown Fire Department at 978-352-5757.