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Archived News Release from 2005

For Immediate Release

October 9 - 15 is Fire Prevention Week in Redwood City & Throughout the Nation

Redwood City, CA - October 6 , 2005 - National Fire Prevention Week is October 9 - 15, 2005 and Redwood City is urging the community to take simple fire prevention steps that could save their lives and those of their loved ones.

The 2005 theme is “Use Candles With Care.” As we approach Halloween and the holidays this theme is particularly important in helping to ensure families and homes are protected and safe. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that over the last decade, fires caused by improper use of candles have tripled. In 2001 alone, an estimated 18,000 home fires were started by candles, resulting in 190 deaths, 1,450 injuries, and property loss estimated at $265 million.

Many of these fires could easily have been prevented by observing these easy safety tips (partial list - more tips can be found at

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. NFPA discourages the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.

  • Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn including curtains, blinds, wallpaper, clothing, flammable liquids, or any other material that can catch fire.

  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over easily, are made from a material that can’t burn, and are large enough to collect dripping wax.

  • Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.

  • Avoid using candles during a power outage. Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting on hand for emergency lighting.

  • Never leave a child unattended in a room with a burning candle. Don’t allow kids or teens to burn candles in their bedrooms.

  • Store matches and lighters up high and out of children’s sight and reach, preferably in a locked cabinet.

The Fire Department also reminds the community that the ending of daylight savings on October 30 is a perfect opportunity to test smoke alarms and replace their batteries – a working smoke alarm is the family’s first line of defense in case of fire. Remember, change your clock – change your smoke alarm batteries.

A great deal of information on home fire safety is available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website, located at Here, you’ll find guidelines for installing and maintaining smoke alarms, basic fire escape planning, tips for people living in apartment buildings, tips for older adults, and more. 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

Visit Redwood City’s website at 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

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