SLO City Fire Chief Garret Olson in this week to talk about Christmas Tree Safety! Important Stuff. CLICK HERE to listen in... and the written version of the tips are below.
The Chief’s Top Ten List of “Ways to Prevent Horrible Holiday Experiences”
10. Don’t drink and drive. Plan ahead and realize that even a $50 ride home is about 200 times less costly than a DUI!
9. Prevent crimes of opportunity! Be vigilant for delivery packages. A box left on a doorstep for a long time invites criminals to open your presents for you. Make your house safe when you are home or away. Sadly, this is a time of criminal activity. Lock up, put lights on timers, and make your home look occupied when you are gone.
8. Live, cut Christmas tree? Follow these steps: cut the bottom 2 inches from the truck, place in a sturdy base, and keep filled with water. A thirsty tree can drink up to one gallon of water per day! Remember, a Christmas tree has the same amount of fuel content when burned as a 3 gallon bucket of gasoline!
7. Get exercise! This is one of the reasons we love the Central Coast so much… you don’t have to put on snow shoes to work up an appetite or work off a meal. Start your better fitness goals now. You’ll feel better during the holidays and can save your New Year’s resolutions for more fun stuff you’d like to add to your life!
6. Place your Christmas tree wisely. Put your Christmas tree at least 3 feet from any furnace vent or other source of heat. Make sure the tree is farther from any source of flame (like fireplace) than the height of the tree plus 3 feet. That way, if it falls, you are covered! To prevent a falling Christmas tree, get a substantial base and secure your tree to a wall. If your tree is by a window, consider drawing the shades to avoid direct sunlight, then open up at night for all to see. However…
5. Be very cautious when hanging exterior lights. Use only outdoor-rated lights and connectors. Plug in all exterior features to a GFI-protected outlet. Be very cautious when using a ladder. Stay clear of your household electrical service drop.
4. When decorating your house and tree, think about the safety of all visitors, little ones and pets alike. Some decorations can be mistaken for food, can be choking hazards, or may be sharp or easily broken. Be mindful to avoid avoidable accidents.
3. Service your fireplace and heating system now! Have a licensed professional inspect the condition of your fireplace to ensure you don’t have buildup that could lead to a chimney fire. Likewise, have a licensed professional inspect and service your furnace. Periodic maintenance increases safety and extends the life of your equipment. Don’t discover something doesn’t work on Christmas morning! If you are lucky enough to find someone to provide service, you will like not enjoy the service charge premium or the disruption to your day.
2. Don’t light any candles. If you must have candles at your holiday table, light them when you sit to eat, don’t reach over them when passing the ham, and blow them out carefully when your done eating. Otherwise, use the beautiful flameless candles for ambience and a candle warmer or essential oil diffuser for scents.
1. Exercise grace! Holidays can be stressful, and stress is not good for you. Relax and enjoy your family and friends. The holidays are not a time for perfection; they are simply special days when life continues to happen! Accept that. Do something special for those who don’t have the means to enjoy the holidays. Serve a meal, give to the Food Bank, or donate unwrapped toys or shelf-stable food at a Fire Station for Season of Hope. You will be amazed how great you feel when you do things for others! Isn’t that the message of this season?
Happy Holidays from the men and women of San Luis Obispo City Fire Department. We are thankful and honored to serve you.