DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Dearborn Heights Fire Department is encouraging residents to keep fire safety in mind while engaging in the holiday fun.
According to a press release, Dearborn Heights Fire Chief David Brogan and Fire Marshal Max Mitts stated that “holiday fires injure or kill upwards of 2,000 individuals and cause over $15 million in direct damage annually.”
The use of live Christmas trees can be dangerous and a major safety threat around the holidays, according to Brogan.
“Speaking from a fire prevention standpoint, we would, of course, prefer that every tree in every home were fireproof – but that’s just not the case,” Brogan said. “The tradition of decorating a real tree for the holidays is a tradition that will never change for many, in spite of the increased risk of fire.”
There are several steps that residents can take to increase their safety and decrease the likelihood of a fire. These include buying a fresh tree and being conscious of the location of your tree in the house. Fresh trees can be determined by the needles on the tree; they’ll be green and intact. The trees should also be placed in a location in your house clear of any heat or flame sources.
“Good common sense”
If live trees are located by any heat sources, the tree can likely become dry, increasing the chance of it catching fire. The tree stand should always be filled with water.
In order to ensure complete safety throughout the holiday season, Brogan and Mitts shared additional measures residents can take. These measures include checking holiday lights for any damage, selecting safe and flame-resistant decorations, avoiding using the same electrical outlet for too many lights, unwrapping gifts safely and away from open flame, taking precautions when cooking and making sure holiday plants are in safe places where children or pets cannot access them.
Brogan and Mitts also said it’s important that residents have functioning smoke alarms on all levels in their homes and that they test them routinely to ensure they’re working. Fire extinguishers, according to both, are another tool that should be kept in homes to ensure safety.
“Many times, we find that both fires and household accidents are the result of folks simply getting a little too rushed and overlooking something they shouldn’t have,” Brogan said. “Particularly during this busy time of the year, it is important to just step back for a moment and collect your thoughts before rushing into your activities. We want everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season – but please do it carefully, and with some good common sense.”