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Fire Safety This Season

As we enter this season of family gatherings, the Visalia Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and great time. Here are a few fire safety tips we have put together to help keep all of you safe for many more holidays to come.

  1. As many may know, having smoke detectors in your home can literally be the difference between life and death. But many forget or ignore the bi-annual maintenance on these devices to keep those devices operational. Twice a year the batteries need to be replaced. A great way to remember is to change batteries when the time changes, every Spring and every Fall. If you didn’t replace your batteries this fall, it would be wise of you to do so now. If you don’t have smoke detectors, please contact the Visalia Fire Department Prevention Division and they will provide you with smoke detectors for free. Their number is 559-713-4261.
  2. Candles always seem to be present in many of the homes we visit. If you choose to burn candles, please keep this in mind. Never allow small children to play with or around any form of fire, especially candles. They can be knocked over and start a fire, or burn your child. Be cautious not leave candles burning unattended, this may lead to accidentally leaving them burning while you are gone and may start a fire. Lastly, always trim your wicks to keep you flame length at the proper height. This will help avoid overheating of the glass container and possibly catching fire to something nearby.
  3. For many homes, it’s hard to let go of the holiday spirit, and taking down the Christmas tree isn’t nearly as much fun as putting it up. But the longer a tree stays up, the greater a fire hazard it will become. It’s best to discard trees within one month after purchase. The best way to dispose of your tree is to take it to a tree recycling center. There will be multiple locations, within the City of Visalia, to dispose of your tree for free. Never burn Christmas trees (branches and needles) in a fireplace or wood stove. Firs and pines have lots of sap, which can explode. The needles burn like tinder, quickly and fiercely. Flames can flare up and immediately become out of control, sending sparks flying across the room. It can also ignite creosote deposits in the chimney and cause a chimney fire.
  4. Outdoor Christmas lights are fun and enjoyable for all to look at, but many things should be considered with their setup and removal. Use only outdoor lights that have been rated and tested for safety by a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories. Always use extension cords with a three prong plug that are approved for outdoor. Never use indoor extension cords outside. Never allow bulbs to touch combustible materials, such as plastics, pine needles, leaves and grass. And be sure to turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire.
The Visalia Fire Department wishes you and your family a very happy and safe holiday.

Please keep these tips in mind as you enjoy the holidays with your family. For more information please contact the Visalia Fire Department at 559-713-4266.

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