Tips to Stay Safe This Holiday Season from the Newport News Fire Department

Carefully decorating your home can help make your holidays safer. Holiday trees account for hundreds of fires each year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 57% of December home decoration fires were started by candles, compared to 32% in January to November. Below are tips from the Newport News Fire Department to keep you and your family safe this holiday season.

Christmas Tree SafetyKeep those live trees watered! Dry trees are extremely flammable. When your tree becomes dry, remove it from the house. Do not place your tree close to a heat source like a fireplace or heat vent. 

Holiday LightsInspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive wear. Use only UL approved lighting. (Products that are UL approved carry the “UL Listed” mark and have passed government-regulated safety tests performed by Underwriters Laboratories). Do not overload outlets and never keep holiday lights on when you leave the house or go to bed.  

Candle SafetyAvoid lit candles as decorations. If you do light candles, make sure they are in stable holders and in a place where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Think about using battery operated lighting to be extra safe. 

Cooking SafetyCooking fires are still the number one cause of residential structure fires in Newport News. Don’t forget to #NNFDStandByurPan when cooking those delicious holiday meals! 

Home Escape & Smoke Alarms Did you know a working smoke alarm can double your chance of surviving a fire? Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, home escape ladders and flashlights make great gifts! The best protection is to have smoke alarms with dual sensors, both ionization and photoelectric. In addition, plan and practice a home escape drill. Find two ways out of every room and designate a place to meet outside. Share your plan for family and overnight guests. If you are a homeowner in Newport News and need a smoke alarm, call the Newport News Fire Department Smoke Alarm Hotline at 757-975-5454. Additional information can be found on the\fire Newport News Fire Department’s website or call 757-975-5400 and ask to speak to a Public Educator. 

The Newport News Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season! Check out the video below for a special holiday safety message from Mayor McKinley L. Price and Fire Chief Jeff Johnson.