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Park City Fire District encourages a safe holiday

Emphasizes fire safety around holiday decorations

The Park City Fire District is encouraging everyone to stay “safe and warm” during the holidays, according to Jerry Gomez, a public information officer with the district.

In a recent interview with The Park Record, Gomez emphasized the increased fire risk that exists this time of the year because of holiday decorations, such as Christmas trees, light strands and scented candles. He said all of the items are capable of causing a deadly house fire.

“It’s not just about Christmas tree safety with live trees. It’s about safety with artificial trees, people using their inside and outside lights properly, using candles safely and properly disposing of ashes,” Gomez said. “Artificial trees can still catch on fire and you have to make sure you have water for your Christmas tree. But, above all, definitely no live flames around trees.”

Two out of every five holiday decoration fires are started by candles, according to the National Fire Protection Agency’s website. It said nearly half of all decoration fires occur because decorations are placed too close to a heat source or open flame.

“You have to be especially careful with candles,” Gomez said. “You want to make sure the candle holder can hold the wax and that it is not dripping on anything.

“You also want to make sure you blow out your candles before you go to bed and unplug all of your lights,” he said.

Gomez also discussed how to properly dispose of fireplace ashes, and encouraged homeowners to have their chimney professionally cleaned at least once a year, “especially if they use it a lot,” he said.

“Ashes should be disposed of outside in a metal container and when they dispose of it they want to make sure any kind of embers are out,” Gomez said. “The biggest thing is to not dispose of them inside.”

In 2015, a chimney fire destroyed a house in the town of Francis, displacing a family of seven less than a week before Christmas. As of Tuesday, Gomez said the fire district has not responded to any incidents related to holiday decorations. He added, “we want to keep it that way.”

“We haven’t had any incidents that I am aware and I hope it stays that way,” Gomez said.

For more information about Christmas tree safety and holiday decorations, go to http://www.pcfd.org/2016/11/christmas-tree-safety/ or http://www.nfpa.org/.


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