Holiday Fire Safety Tips
Each year fires occurring during the holiday season injure 2,600 individuals and cause over $930 million in damage.
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), there are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following some of these tips you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.
PREVENTING HOLIDAY TREE FIRES
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.
Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.
Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame, or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.
Disposing of Your Tree
Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by taking it to a recycling center or having it hauled away by a community pick-up service.
Maintain Your Holiday Lights
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories.
Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires; they should not be warm to the touch.
Do not leave holiday lights on unattended.
Use Only Nonflammable Decorations
All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents.
Never Put Wrapping Paper in a Fireplace
It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.
Artificial Holiday Trees
If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.
USE CARE WITH CANDLES
Candles Can Be Dangerous
If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.
Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame - candles, lighters, or matches. Similarly, never use lighted candles in holiday displays on table tops or mantles that include tree branches or other flammable decorations.
HOLIDAY COOKING SAFETY
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States - Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. Use turkey fryers outdoors away from buildings and items that can catch fire. Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a wooden deck.
- Does your department check and install car seats for children?
Yes! Due to COVID-19 are currently inspecting and installing car seats for children on an appointment basis. Fill out the Child Passenger Safety Inspection Request form to schedule an appointment, or visit our Child Car Seat Installation page for more information.
- How do I order a reflective address sign?
Reflective address signs are very important for emergency services. If we can't find you, we can't help you. Locating addresses can be especially tricky at night. Order a reflective address sign today. Signs are only $15 or $20 if mounted to a metal post. Use this form to order your reflective address sign. The signs are made at the fire-rescue department and you will be contacted once it is ready for pick-up.
- Does your department check and install smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors?
As a part of our Community Risk Reduction program the Fire-Rescue Department installs smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for residents of Carrboro and the South Orange Fire District. Smoke alarms provide early notifications increasing the likelihood that you and your family will be able to escape if there is a fire in your home. Submit this form to schedule installation or inspection of a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm.
- How can I apply for a fire prevention permit?
The Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department issues construction and operational permits in accordance with applicable state laws and the currently adopted edition of the North Carolina Fire Code. For more information regarding permits, reference Section 105 of the North Carolina Fire Code and in Chapter 12, Article II, Section 12-10 of the Town Code. You can apply for a fire prevention permit by submitting this form.
Reminder: Any plans for review (electrical, remodeling, fire alarm, sprinkler system) should be submitted to Town of Carrboro Planning, Zoning, and Inspections through PIPER prior to contacting the Fire-Rescue Department.
- How to I schedule a fire prevention education event or fire station tour? Birthday Party? Other events?
We provide public education events, including fire prevention presentations. Use this form to request a public education event for your group or organization.
We regularly give station tours and safety talks to all types of groups, both formal and informal. Some of the groups we have had come through in the past include school classes, girl scouts, boy scouts, church groups, day care groups, after school programs, summer camp groups, home school students, and many individuals. Use this form to request a fire station tour.
If you are planning a community block party or birthday party our department will stop by during the event with a fire truck for all to see up close - both adults and children. We can show and explain the use and importance of the many pieces of equipment, display our gear, discuss fire safety topics, and distribute fire safety information. Use this form to request the department come out to your birthday or block party.
View our Community Services page to see what other services are offered by the fire-rescue department. Forms are available to request all of the services offered by the department.
301 W. Main St.
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 918-7347 *
1411 Homestead RD
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 913-2943 *
*NOTE: Non-emergency telephone and email are not monitored 24/7/365.