HOLIDAY SAFETY MESSAGE FROM THE NORTH DAKOTA STATE FIRE MARSHAL

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December 23, 2016


Media Contact: Liz Brocker (701) 328-2213

BISMARCK, ND - State Fire Marshal Jeff Huber reminds everyone to stay safe and warm during this holiday season, and to take proper fire safety precautions.

“As everyone gets busier during the holidays, we often become rushed, distracted or tired,” says the State Fire Marshal. “That’s when home fires are more likely to occur.”

With unattended cooking as the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries, Huber reminds busy cooks to stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, broiling or boiling food.

  • Turn off the stove if you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time.
  • Create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.

Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires.

  • Keep candles at least 12” away from anything that can burn and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
  • Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces.
  • Never leave a child or pet alone in a room with a burning candle.

Christmas trees are a lovely addition to holiday decorations. Whether you use a live or artificial tree, make sure it does not block any exits and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
  • After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

“By taking simple precautions, people can avoid potential fire hazards, and make this time of year a healthy and happy one,” said Huber.

The State Fire Marshal’s office is a division of the Office of Attorney General.

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