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Pasadena In Focus
Nov-Dec 2011

Wishing you a Fire-Safe Season

fireA crackling fire, glowing candles, a tree decked with tinsel. So much of what we love about the holidays can also be dangerous. Follow these tips from the Pasadena Fire Department to enjoy the season safely.

Most important, wait until a week or two before Christmas to buy your tree. (While you wait, make sure there are fresh batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.) Choose a tree with green needles that stay put when they’re tugged, and keep it in a stand filled with water, safely away from fireplaces, candles and heater vents. Take it down in early January before it dries out. If you choose an artificial tree instead, make sure it’s flame retardant.

Before stringing any lights, check carefully for frayed wires, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets or excessive wear. If you need a new set, look for the logo of an approved testing lab on the box and opt for LEDs, which use less energy and burn much cooler than traditional bulbs. Take care not to overload electrical outlets, and never link more than three strands at a time. If the wires are warm, unplug them.

Keep menorahs and candles in sturdy holders on a fire-safe surface, out of reach of children and pets and away from curtains and other furnishings. Better yet, choose LED models that flicker without a flame. Blow out any candles and turn off holiday lights any time you leave home.

For more holiday safety tips, contact the city’s emergency management coordinator at 744-7276 or lderderian@cityofpasadena.net