Phoenix Fire Department offers advice for holiday safety
PHOENIX – Firefighters around the Valley will spend their holiday away from their loved ones as they report to duty at their home away from home.
Phoenix Fire Captain Rob McDade hopes firefighters spend most of their day at the fire station, indicating a safe and calm holiday for residents.
“We want this to be a safe day of celebration with family, as much as we love those that we serve we don’t want to see you on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day,” McDade told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
One good rule of thumb to ensure a fire-free holiday is paying attention to your Christmas tree.
Whether it’s real or artificial, Christmas trees account for hundreds of fires each year. Typically, shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires.
McDade encourages home owners to unplug lights on the tree before leaving the home and at night.
“If there is a bare wire or older Christmas lights, this will create a fire hazard,” McDade said. “We just recently had a fire in the Valley that appears to be caused by a tree that was lit and unattended.”
Another fire hazard in the home, candles. Holiday scented or not, McDade said to keep an eye on any open flames in the home and do not leave them burning overnight or whenever you leave the home.
Battery operated candles are a great option that ensure an open flame won’t light anything on fire nearby.
More fire hazards can include space heaters and starting the fire place for the first time this season. Ensure your chimney is open so the smoke exits the home and beware of any plant growth around the outside of the chimney that could overheat and catch fire.
Fire calls are not the only 911 calls seen on holidays. More often than not, do first responders respond to traffic accidents – many of which involving impaired drivers.
“We absolutely want to encourage anyone drinking to find a designated driver,” McDade said. “We don’t want to see you on Christmas, let’s let Santa make his visit to you safely.”