Holidays can be stressful enough without a visit from the fire department

One safety consideration is the Christmas tree, especially ‘real’ ones

By Kevin J. Sabo

For the Independent

Spending time with friends and family over the holiday season is always something to be treasured, but it shouldn’t include a visit with the fire department.

While the call-outs in the region of Castor over the holidays have been traditionally sporadic, Castor Volunteer Fire Rescue would like to remind residents of some things they can do to reduce the risk of fire both inside and outside the home.

According to Fire Chief Patrick Kelly, one the biggest things that can be done is using the properly rated electrical cords.

“Use proper cords,” said Kelly. “Please use outdoor rated cords for outdoor lights.”

Using indoor electrical cords on outside displays could cause a short and increase the risk of fire, as could cords that are frayed.

“If the cords are frayed, throw them out,” said Kelly.

Electrical cord safety is also important inside the house. Some things that can be done inside to reduce the risk of fire are not overloading outlets or power bars.

Another safety consideration inside the house is the Christmas tree, especially those that have a real tree.

“They get more flammable as Christmas approaches,” said Kelly. “Watch out what you have around them and keep them watered.”

Having too much piled around the tree or having the lights in contact with a dry branch or a gift could cause enough heat to start a fire.

Another cause of fire department interaction over the holidays can be found in the kitchen.

“People forget they put stuff in the oven,” said Kelly. “Or they’ll run an errand, and by the time they get home things will be smoking.”

When cooking the big meal for Christmas, Kelly’s suggestion is to set a reminder to check the oven, and to not leave the home unattended while things are cooking.

The holidays can be stressful enough without complications, but some forethought can reduce the risks and ensure everyone, including our firefighters, can have a safe, and joyous, time with family and friends.

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