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Home/Press Release/IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR BUT MAKE SURE HOLIDAY SAFETY COMES FIRST – DON’T MAKE DEADLY MISTAKES

IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR BUT MAKE SURE HOLIDAY SAFETY COMES FIRST – DON’T MAKE DEADLY MISTAKES

“The holiday season has arrived before we finished eating the Thanksgiving leftovers,” said Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “Don’t let the holiday season heat up too much – with fire that is! Did you know that Christmas trees alone result in 13 million dollars in damage, annually?   But more importantly, fires present a real risk towards family and friends.”

Daniel Regenye, Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) Public Health Coordinator, said, “In addition to safety indoors, we need to remember as people begin to decorate outside, to check that the lights have been tested for safety and are labeled suitable for exterior placement, throw out any damaged lights, and make sure to plug them into a ground-fault interrupter protected receptacle.”

Regenye continued, “Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious.  He offers these safety tips:

  • When picking a tree, 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 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 and be sure to add water daily.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Make sure you read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

The holiday season should be enjoyed; not deadly due to an accidental fire which we read about too often during this time of year.

Follow the Ocean County Health Department’s website at www.ochd.org or follow the Health Department on Twitter@OCpublichealth or like us on Facebook.