Holiday Safety

Festive lighting, windowsill candles, and lighted Christmas trees are a staple of many families holidays, however all three pose a great risk if handled improperly.
Christmas trees alone, are the cause of an estimated 230 residential structure fires per year. However many of these types of fires can be prevented if the public would follow a few simple guidelines during the season:
 -   If you have a real Christmas tree in your home, keep your tree well watered! If the tree becomes dry, get rid of it immediately.
 -   If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
 -   Make sure trees are not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles or lights.
 -   Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn, and never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
 -   Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
 -   Turn off ALL holiday lighting before leaving home or going to bed.

With winter weather upon us, the potential for residential structure fires increases dramatically:

Officials recommend the following guidelines to keep you and your loved one's safe while heating residential homes:

-If you see or smell smoke or gas, get out of the house and dial 911.

-Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.

-Never use your oven to heat your home.

-Make sure to turn portable heaters off when leaving rooms.

-Have a working smoke detector in all rooms of residential dwellings.

-If you use a wood stove for heating, make sure to only burn wood in it.

-All fuel burning equipment should vent to the outside to avoid CO (carbon monoxide) poisoning.

-Have a qualified professional install all heating equipment in residential homes.

-Have a working CO (carbon monoxide) alarm installed on each floor of your home if any fuel burning equipment is used to heat the home.

If citizens have any questions they are encouraged to call The Gastonia Fire Department Life Safety Division at: 704-866-6740.


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Gastonia, N.C., just minutes west of Charlotte, is one of the area’s best places to live and work with an ideal combination of location, size and livability. Gastonia is the largest of Gaston County’s 13 municipalities and one of the largest cities in the Charlotte metropolitan area. Selected as an All-America City three times, Gastonia’s desirable quality of life is the result of its beautiful natural surroundings, friendly neighborhoods, responsive government and vibrant business environment.



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Gastonia NC 28052