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Avoiding the Grinch during the holidays – Home safety (Part 4 of 4)

Ferndale Police vehicle file photo (July 25, 2016). Photo: Whatcom News

The holidays are a season to spend time with friends and family, of giving to others, and to give thanks for what we have. Holiday cheer seems to be everywhere. Unfortunately, it can be a time when a seemingly minor oversight in home safety can lead to disasters. With the holidays fast approaching, the Ferndale Police Department would like to pass on a few tips to help everyone have the wonderful holiday season they deserve.

  • Christmas trees
    • When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, the needles are hard to pull from branches and the trunk butt is sticky with resin. When you set up the tree at home, place it away from fireplaces, radiators and portable heaters. Make sure it does not block any doorways. Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood and allow for better water absorption. Be sure to keep the stand filled with water. When purchasing an artificial tree, ensure it is designated “fire resistant.”
  • Lights
    • Before using lights outdoors, check to make sure they have been certified for outdoor use. Check all tree lights before hanging them. Make sure all the bulbs work and there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. Always turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Decorations
    • Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant material to trim your tree. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens. Always use non-flammable holders and place candles where they will not be knocked down. Remove all wrapping paper, bags, ribbons and bows from the tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. These items can easily catch fire and should be disposed of in your recycling bin, not burned in the fireplace.
  • Fireplaces
    • Remove all greens, paper and other decorations from around the fireplace before lighting any fire. Do not burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.

The Ferndale Police Department would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. Please partner with us to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all our citizens.

Part 1: Avoiding theft
Part 2: Avoiding scams
Part 3: Travel safety


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