Holiday lights, decorations, great food, and delightful gatherings of friends and families make this winter holiday season fun and are exactly the reasons that a fire at this time of year is so particularly tragic. As State Fire Marshal for nearly 16 years, I have responded far too many times to fires that have ruined the holidays for families. This year I am asking people to “deck the halls with thoughts of safety” and to take a few simple steps to keep your home safe for family and guests this holiday season.
The holidays we are celebrating involve lights and candles. Do not overload your electrical outlets with too many strands of lights plugged together. Burn candles inside a one-foot circle of safety free of anything that can catch fire and blow them out when you leave the room. A well-watered Christmas tree can stay fresh for a long time, but a dried out tree is like having a blow-torch in your living room so water the tree every day and dispose of it promptly after the holiday,
Remember the basics: make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. Make a home escape plan and share it with everyone who spends the night. Let’s make this a safe, happy holiday season. For more tips on winter holiday safety please go to our webpage: www.mass.gov/dfs and type Winter Holiday Safety into the Search Box.