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Sanibel fire district offers holiday safety tips


The Sanibel Fire and Rescue District reported that the holiday season looks a little different this year with smaller celebrations and gatherings due to COVID-19. To keep the spirit alive, holiday decorating is at an all-time high.

Flickering lights, the smell of a Christmas tree and fun automated figurines fill our homes. But they also present fire risks that can quickly turn this festive time of year into a devastating one.

“We know holiday decorations, various heat sources, and misuse of Christmas tree lights and multi-plug adaptors account for 45 percent to 60 percent of structure fires this time of year,” Division Chief of Fire Prevention Larry Williams said. “Fire prevention is the easiest way to stay safe.”

The district offered residents and visitors the following winter holiday tips:

– Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant for around the home and on Christmas trees.

– Keep decorations away from a stove or other cooking equipment.

– Replace any holiday lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.

– Make sure your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.

– Always keep water in your Christmas tree stand. Check daily and add water as needed.

– Blow out lit candles when you leave the room.

– Never plug multiple extension cords together, check for any fraying or damage to the cord, and do not overload the extension cord.

“If our residents and visitors follow these simple safety tips, they greatly decrease the chances of a fire happening in their homes,” Williams said.

For questions or more information, contact Williams at LWilliams@SanibelFire.com.