Firefighters offer tips to safe during holidays

December 3, 2009 1:54:15 PM PST
This chilly weather has us pulling out the coats and turning on the heaters. But this weather can be dangerous if you don't take precautions. Houston firefighters were out today, giving residents tips on how to stay safe this holiday season. Since last December there were 75 apartment fires throughout the city of Houston so that has apartment association directors concerned enough that they want to make sure they remind people exactly what they can do to be festive and yet still safe.

The number one concern is Christmas trees and the Houston fire department they recommend you don't go with live trees but rather that you go with artificial trees. They say they are safer. Additionally, they say to be careful of all of those electrical cords, to make sure you are using surge protectors and not to connect too many cords into one outlet.

If you are going to use space heaters make sure you keep them clear of anything that can catch fire. They suggest that you use electrical space heaters instead of gas ones because of the lack of carbon monoxide.

The Houston fire department says don't use candles at all but if you are going to use some, they say you can use those electrical candles that simulate real candles. Perhaps the most important thing that you have in your home and apartment is working smoke detectors. Make sure to check the batteries and do a test because they can save lives.

"We see first-hand the effect a fire has on a resident and it's not just about our property it is about the effect about the fire on the lives of the residents and its tragic," said said Beth Van Winkle with the Houston Apartment Association. "So, we want to do that we can everything to educate our residents, particularly around the holiday season. This should be a time of joy and blessings and fire is not a blessing."

If you live in an apartment and if you have any questions about what is safe or not safe and what you are allowed to do or not allowed to do, you should check with your property management. The Houston fire department says you can also call them with any questions.


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