News | Dec. 11, 2020

Fire prevention more important than ever during 2020 holiday season

By DLA Distribution Public Affairs

With more people staying home during this holiday season due to the current pandemic, the potential for fires has increased. Understanding this potential is more important now than ever, said Richard Zucchero, from Defense Logistics Agency Installation Operations Susquehanna. 

Zucchero, along with the Fire Prevention Team, remind us that increased use of electrical equipment during the holiday season increases the associated dangers. “Spread electrical devices around the house to ensure outlets are not overloaded or overused. Check outlets and cords for loose connections from all the plugging and unplugging,” urged Zucchero.

Another thing to keep in mind for safety purposes is holiday cooking and kitchen fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking are the day before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. That's why it's important to know what you can do to help keep your friends and family safe while entertaining for the holidays.

“The likelihood of walking away from a stove in operation increases when we become complacent in our daily routine at home,” said Zucchero, adding, “Not only has the likelihood of cooking dangers increased, but so has the danger associated with an increased use of electrical equipment around the house.”

Assistant Fire Chief of Training and Prevention, Fred Smith, Fire & Emergency Services, DLA Installation Management Susquehanna, asks that as you deck the halls this holiday season, be fire smart. A small fire that spreads to a Christmas tree can grow large very quickly. He provided the following tips on Christmas Tree Safety*:

 

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched;
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk;
  • Make sure the tree is positioned at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights;
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit;
  • Add water to the tree stand daily;
  • Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use;
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree and 
  • After Christmas, or when it is dry, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home, garage or placed outside against the home. ​​*Reference: NFPA.org.

 

More importantly, said Smith, “Stay safe and enjoy the holiday season.”