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Archived News Release from 2006

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department Urges Fire Safety During the Holidays

Redwood City, CA – According to the U.S. Fire Administration, fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage, annually. The Redwood City Fire Department urges the community to be aware of some simple life- and property-saving steps that will help ensure a safe and happy holiday.

Here are a few key winter holiday fire-safety tips from the Redwood City Fire Department:

  • 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 never be placed on a Christmas tree. Make sure candles are not at a risk of tipping over, and do not leave lit candles unattended.
  • 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.

Additional information on home fire safety for the holidays and year-round is available from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). More information on how to make your home “fire-safe” can also be obtained by contacting the Redwood City Fire Department at 650-780-7400 or visiting www.redwoodcity.org/fire.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at redwoodcity.org/webcam, and subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter by emailing e-news@redwoodcity.org.

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Contact:
Louis J. Vella
Administrative Chief/Fire Marshal
Redwood City Fire Department
650-780-7400

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