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Each holiday season, thousands of people suffer from injury, burns and death due to the carelessness associated with holiday decorations.

Decorated trees, light ornaments and fireplaces produce extra hazards in homes at times when the hectic season may distract us from fire safety.

The Costa Mesa Fire Department offers the following advice for a safe and happy holiday season.
  • Check all natural Christmas trees for freshness. Shedding needles are a sign of a dry tree and pose a serious hazard. Fresh tree needles won’t break when bent.

  • Once the tree is home, cut off about 2” of the base, place the tree in a stable tree holder and keep the holder filled with water at all times. Check the level of the water daily!

  • A dry tree can be totally consumed by fire in just 3 seconds! Be sure to locate your tree away from all heat sources; hot air ducts, fireplaces candles and heaters. 

  • Never place a tree where it might block exits in case of an emergency.

  • Check all lighting and look for frayed or broken wires. Always throw out damaged light sets.

  • All lights should be UL (Underwriters Laboratory) approved with no more than 3 sets of lights on one extension cord. 

  • Be sure to take down your outdoor lights as soon as the season is over; they were not designed for prolonged exposure.

  • Test your smoke detector. If you don’t own one, buy one immediately and put it up today. 

  • Consider giving them as “stocking stuffer” gifts.

  • Do not burn trees, decorations or wrapping paper in the fireplace. Wrappings burn rapidly and throw sparks which can set the roof on fire.