WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Fire Department is offering the following tips to keep families safe during the holiday season:
- Use candles with extreme caution – keep clear of combustibles and ensure they are in a solid, tip-resistant base. Never leave burning candles unattended.
- Check that all holiday lights and cords are in good condition and use only as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Keep Christmas trees well watered and remove when needles begin to drop excessively. Never allow a tree to restrict access to escape routes.
- When shoveling ashes from the Yule log, use a metal container or, better yet, leave them in the fireplace. Ashes can contain hot embers for as long as four days. The tragic Christmas morning fire in Stamford several years ago caused by the improper disposal of fireplace ashes.
- Always use a screen in front of fireplaces.
- Make sure that you have properly operating smoke detectors.
- Never burn holiday garland, wrapping paper, Christmas trees or other greenery in the fireplace. These items burn with tremendous rapidity and will overcome the chimney’s ability to exhaust the heat and smoke causing the fire to push out into the room.
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