Preventing Fires During the Holidays

by Kelly Choate on December 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

Christmas trees, candles and homemade meals are holiday traditions for many families, but they can be dangerous too.

Washington Township Fire Chief Gene Hanning said fires have already claimed 103 lives this year in Ohio. He said smoke detectors can be the difference between life and death.

"It’s naturally the first alert," said Hanning.  "There’s times when you just can’t wake up quick enough, and once you do wake up, the fire and the smoke have overcome your path of exit."

All of the fire departments in Muskingum County provide free smoke detectors to anyone who needs one.  Hanning said installing smoke detectors is just one way to stay safe.  It’s also important to take proper care of Christmas trees.

"You don’t want to overload the electric lights," said Hanning.  "A lot of them nowadays have a UL listing on them with a little inline fuse, which helps a lot.  Don’t plug in 25 strands of lights into one extension cord."

Cooking is another leading cause of house fires throughout the holidays.  Hanning suggests limiting distractions in the kitchen while cooking and cleaning grease from the burners.