A message from the Newport News Fire Department
Fires increase during the winter months and it’s important to be prepared! Make sure you have working smoke alarms and a home escape plan. Include
your overnight guests in this plan so everyone knows how to escape if a fire starts in your home. The Newport News Fire Department is offering special safety tips to help ensure a safe holiday season for all.
Christmas Tree Safety
Do not place your tree close to a heat source like a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be easily ignited. Water your tree daily. Never put holiday tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When your tree becomes dry, remove it from the house. A dry tree can easily ignite. Check your building codes to find out if you are allowed to have a natural tree.
Holiday Light Safety
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive wear. Use only UL approved lighting (Products that are UL-approved carry the "UL Listed" mark and have passed government-regulated safety tests performed by Underwriters Laboratories). Do not overload outlets and connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Never leave holiday lights on when you leave the house or go to bed.
Avoid using lit candles. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
Plan Your Escape
Plan and practice a home fire drill. Find two ways out of every room and designate a place to meet outside. Share your home escape plan with family and overnight guests.
Every Home Should Have Working Smoke Alarms
According to the United States Fire Administration, having a working smoke alarm more than doubles your chance of surviving a fire. Nearly half of residential fires and three-fifths of residential fatalities occur in homes with no smoke detectors. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, flashlights and home escape ladders make great holiday gifts! The best protection is to have smoke alarms with dual sensors, both ionization and photoelectric. If you are a homeowner in the City of Newport News and need a smoke alarm, call the Newport News Fire Department Smoke Alarm Hotline at 757-247-8888.
Additional safety information can be found on Newport News Fire Department’s website
or call 757-247-2332 and ask to speak to a Public Educator. The Newport News Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season!