Winter and holiday safety tips from Marion County Fire Rescue


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Holiday Safety

Marion County Fire Rescue Press Release – During this winter season, Marion County citizens will be busy cooking for family and friends, enjoying festive decorations and keeping warm on chilly days. By following these tips from Marion County Fire Rescue, you can help to ensure your holidays and winter months are full of safe warmth and light.

Winter Warnings

  • Never burn paper in a fireplace and hire a professional to clean your chimney annually.
  • Soak stove and fireplace ashes and charcoal in a metal pail for at least 24 hours before disposing them.
  • Hire a professional to service your furnace once a year and install an emergency shut-off switch.
  • Keep space heaters out of halls and away from doors, stairs, children and pets.
  • Clear 30 feet of defensible space around your home, leaving nearby bushes only three to four feet high.
  • Clean your roof and gutters regularly to avoid an accumulation of flammable materials.
  • Call 911 immediately after a fire ignites. A house fire can double in size every minute.
  • Install and routinely check smoke alarms and practice family fire escape plans.

Holiday Cooking

  • Turn pot handles in and away from children’s reach and never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never throw water on a grease fire; the water will spread the fire, not extinguish it.
  • Keep holiday decorations and other kitchen clutter away from the heat of the stove.
  • Keep all appliances in good working order.
  • Never overload electrical outlets and remember to unplug appliances when not in use.
  • Keep an “ABC” approved fire extinguisher in the kitchen and make sure it’s charged and working properly.

Holiday Decorations

  • Make sure your holiday tree is fresh; shedding needles is a sign of a dry tree.
  • Keep your tree moist by placing it in a stand that holds water.
  • Make sure artificial trees are flame-retardant.
  • Never smoke or hang flammable decorations near your tree and do not put trees in front of exits.
  • Buy electric lights that are approved by a national testing lab and look for the “UL” tag.
  • Never run electrical cords through doorways or under rugs and always unplug lights before going to bed.
  • Keep candles in a sturdy holder away from combustibles, children and pets.
  • Avoid hanging stockings near an open flame.

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