Friday, 31 December 2010 00:00
As the holiday season comes to an end, many people take this time to relax after the hustle and bustle of the last few busy weeks. The Nassau County Firefighters Museum & Education Center on Museum Row in Uniondale, wants to remind everyone to not forget about the potentially dangerous fire hazards lying around the house after the holidays.
Fires are just as likely, or in some cases more likely, to happen after the holidays. As the Christmas tree begins to dry out and presents, wrapping paper and unattended decorations clutter the house, the threat of a fire is elevated.
“We urge homeowners to use caution and follow basic safety tips to ensure that these remain truly happy holidays” said Firefighters Museum Chief Instructor John Murray.
According to the National Fire Protection Association more than one-third (36 percent) of home Christmas tree structure fires were reported on the ten days between Christmas Eve and the day after New Year’s Day.
• Be sure to check the water level of your Christmas tree daily.
• If your tree has dropped an excessive amount of needles, it is time to remove the tree from your home as dried out trees are a severe fire hazard.
• Trees that have dried out over several weeks burn faster than fresh, well-watered trees.
Check Your Holiday Lights
• Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
• Check all of your Christmas lights for damage or for frayed cables before packing them away for next year.
• Never Put Wrapping Paper near a Fireplace or Other Heat Source
• If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over. Never leave candles unattended. Do not use candles near any flammable decoration or live greens.
The nearly 10,000 square-foot teaching facility features hands-on displays, historical fire equipment and live demonstrations on fire prevention and fire safety techniques. Since opening in June of 2006, more than 100,000 visitors of all ages have been taken step-by-step through a working fire, from alarm activation and emergency call to the “knocking down” of flames at the scene. The Center’s exhibits also trace the evolution of fire service equipment, gear and apparatus.
The Center also features a 30-minute live show inside the safety theater. Based on the “Learn Not to Burn” curriculum of the National Fire Protection Association, educational shows inside the theater vividly demonstrate potential fire hazards inside homes. For more on the Museum and Education Center, visit www.ncfiremuseum.org