Washington Township Fire Department

Christmas and Winter Fire Safety Tips 

  • Never overload electrical circuits with Christmas lighting.
  • Never burn candles near decorations or “live/cut” trees and never leave a candle burning unattended.
  • Make sure your tree does not block an exit point from your home.
  • If you have a “live/cut” tree, make sure it is watered regularly.  If its dry and the needles are brittle, remove the tree from the home.
  • Do NOT run extension cords under rugs or carpet.
  • Make sure your oven is clean before cooking Christmas dinner and never leave cooking unattended.  Keep pot holders and lids handy, and never throw water on a grease fire.  Cooking fires are still the number one cause of residential fires.
  • When hanging stockings or other decorations over a fire place, be sure to keep them far enough away so they do not ignite.
  • Make sure lights used outdoors are rated for OUTDOOR use.
  • Keep your chimney clean and have it inspected at least annually and make sure your roof gutters are clear of combustibles such as leaves and dead tree branches.
  • Make sure you always use a screen in front of wood burning fire places.
  • Keep combustibles away from all sources of heat and flame such as the main heater, hot water heater, or other auxiliary heating sources.
  • Kerosene heaters, while not as common as in the past, CANNOT be used in multifamily dwellings such Condo’s, Townhouses, and Apartments.  If you still use a Kerosene heater as an alternate heat source in a single family home be sure the area is well ventilated, combustibles are clear, and small children stay clear.
  • Have your heating company check your flue and heater every year to make sure its working properly and dangerous Carbon Monoxide is not being emitted into the house.
  • If you didn’t change you battery in your smoke detectors when you changed your clock, it’s not too late.  Make sure you have a working smoke detector on every floor of the home and near sleeping areas.  Make sure you have a working Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector as well. 
  • Smoke detectors, CO detectors, and home fire extinguishers make great Christmas gifts.
  • Please keep fire safety in mind during the holiday season, fires in the home are devastating enough any time of year but are especially tragic during the Christmas Holidays.