Archived News Release from 2005
For Immediate Release
Redwood City Fire Department Urges Fire Safety During Holidays
Redwood City, CA – It’s becoming especially cold late at night and early in the mornings, and with that cold weather people start to use fireplaces, heaters, and furnaces to keep warm in the home. The Redwood City Fire Department is reminding the community that fire danger is year-round, not just in hot weather – and during the cold season there are dangers and risk of fire that the community should recognize.
Here are a few key winter fire-safety tips from the Redwood City Fire Department:
- Chimneys should be inspected and cleaned before seasonal use begins. Creosote, the substance that can build-up in the flue of the chimney, can ignite and cause a structure fire.
- Only firewood, or other products intended for this use, should be burned in fireplaces. Do not burn scrap wood or trash.
- If a home contains a central heating system, it should be inspected once a year and whenever any kind of a problem is suspected, to ensure that it’s operating correctly and safely.
- Space heaters should be used only in an area that is clear of any combustibles. It’s valuable to imagine a circle around a space heater that has at least a 3-foot radius – that’s the minimum area that should be kept clear. Any space heater purchased for the home should bear the label of an independent testing laboratory such as UL.
- Live Christmas trees - especially dry ones - are highly combustible and will burn very fast. They should be purchased when they are very fresh and should be watered frequently to retain their green color and to avoid drying out. Decorative lights should be used wisely and their plugs should not be overloaded – attaching too many lights to a plug can overload electrical circuits and cause a fire.
- Use candles with care – they should not be placed on a Christmas tree. Make sure candles are not at a risk of tipping over, and do not leave lit candles unattended.
Additional information on home fire safety for the holidays and year-round is available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website, located at www.nfpa.org. More information on how to make your home “fire-safe” can be obtained by contacting the Redwood City Fire Department at 650-780-7400 or visiting www.redwoodcity.org/fire.
Visit Redwood City’s website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.
Louis J. Vella
Administrative Chief/Fire Marshal
Redwood City Fire Department