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Fire Safety Tips for the Winter, Holiday Season

Reduce chances of fire with live Christmas trees, fireplaces or other winter hazards.

Christmas trees. File photo
Christmas trees. File photo

As in the past, Bernards Township Fire Official Janet Lake is issuing fire safety tips for the holidays, and throughout the winter months, when many people will be using fireplaces or burning candles. 

Live Christmas Trees:

1.     In selecting a tree, pull your fingers over the needles to make sure they are secure before purchasing the tree.

2.     Test the needles every day the same way after putting it up to make sure the tree is getting enough water.

3.     Keep the water filled, check electric lights before use.

4.     The suggested time for leaving a live tree up is two weeks.

5.     Do not place trees near fireplace, candles or heater or your way out of the building.

6.     When disposing of trees remember a dry tree is very flammable, and place the discarded tree away from any building.

Winter Months:

1.     If using your fireplace make sure it has been inspected for potentially dangerous situations since last winter. It could have rusted parts, a crack in the clay or metal pipe a bird nest or creosote buildup.

2.     Do not burn Christmas or any gift wrap in a fireplace the ink burns excessively hot and will catch any creosote on fire if it exist in the chimney.

3.     Do not vacuum a fireplace; embers will set the vacuum cleaner bag on fire.

4.     Never place fireplace ashes in cardboard boxes or bags in or near the house.

5.     Ashes should be placed at least 15 feet from anything combustible in a metal can with water added for at least 48 hours.

6.     Have your dryer vents and furnaces inspected.

7.     Never leave matches or lighters where children can reach them.

8.     Never leave candles unattended.

9.     Shovel out about three feet around the hydrant nearest your home after each snowfall so it can easily be reached by firefighters if needed.

For further information, contact Janet Lake, Bernards Township Fire Official, at jlake@bernards.org or at 908-204-3094.

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