Holiday Fire Safety Tips

Stay Safe with Fire
The winter holidays are a joyous time of year. The Oak Brook Fire Department wants to make sure that you and your loved ones enjoy this season with no fires and no burn injuries. Remember that the improper use of space heaters, wood burning stoves, fireplaces, candles, fireworks, holiday lighting, etc. can and have caused many home fires, especially during the holiday season. The following are fire safety tips to help you celebrate this wonderful season more safely.

Fireworks Safety
When ringing in the New Year, leave fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks such as fire crackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, etc. are illegal in Illinois and have resulted in numerous roof fires, as well as deaths and injuries each year. Even sparklers burn at high temperatures and the thin hot wires can cause severe burns in the hands of children. Please do not celebrate the holiday season with fireworks for everyone’s safety.

Portable Heater Safety
All portable heating equipment should bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory, indicating that the heater has met basic safety standards. When shopping for portable space heaters, look for automatic shut off safety features. Keep all combustible materials away from portable heaters. Place them at least three feet away from furniture, walls or anything else that burns. Remember to turn them off when you leave home or go to bed. Never use kerosene heaters indoors.

Candle Safety
Keep your candlewicks trimmed to a quarter inch and never leave burning candles unattended. The safest way to burn candles is in a non-combustible candle holder with a glass chimney over the candle. In buildings of public assemblies such as churches and hotels, glass chimneys are mandated by fire codes. Candles are prohibited in commercial businesses. Remember that centerpiece candles burn quickly and should not be used where they can burn down and ignite decorations and or tablecloths.

Furnace Safety
Central heating systems should be inspected at least once a year by a qualified professional. Never store combustible materials near a furnace and be sure all controls and shut-offs are in good working condition. In addition, every home should be equipped with smoke detectors on all floors and carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping quarters.

Chimney Safety
Have your wood stove and fireplace chimneys inspected and cleaned at least once a year. Never use flammable liquids to start any fire. Always keep a glass or metal screen in front of fireplace openings. Be sure dampers are in good working order and never leave a fire unattended.