Houston firefighters offer safety tips for holidays

November 29, 2012 10:07:55 AM PST
The Houston Fire Department is out with its annual reminder about the potential dangers of Christmas decorations.

Firefighters this morning held a demonstration and talked about new rules for smoke detectors at an apartment complex in west Houston.

A smoke detector is the last, and perhaps most important, line of defense against dying in a fire. This year, the city of Houston started requiring smoke detectors in all apartment bedrooms, and today HFD gave us some other important fire safety reminders for this holiday season.

HFD reminds you not to try to cram too many cords in your electrical outlets when you are putting up holiday decorations and the Christmas tree this time of year. In December of last year, the city of Houston responded to 120 residential fires which resulted in $2.5 million in damage. They say year-round leaving food on the stove is a big cause of fires, but during this time of year electrical fires are a big problem too.

"When it comes to electrical fires, during this time of year what we have is Christmas trees have lights, then we want to put lights on our mantel, and the Christmas tree is close to the mantle so we use the same plug. We don't have a surge protector, you overload that plug and once that plug becomes overloaded, an arc can occur and then a fire starts," said HFD Capt. Ruy Lozano.

The requirement for smoke detectors in apartment bedrooms, already in place for Houston, will extend to the rest of Texas' communities at the beginning of the year.

The fire department provides smoke detectors for those who can't afford them, even smoke detectors for the deaf and hard of hearing.

For more information you can visit the Houston Fire Department website and SafeInMyPlace.com.


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