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Time to Make a Holiday Safety List!

FASNY Gifts Some Holiday Tips for the Season

(December 18,2019, NEW YORK) The holiday season is here and across the state, New Yorkers are beginning to hang their lights, decorate their homes, and set up their holiday candles or Christmas trees. The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) would like to remind everyone of a few safety tips to have an enjoyable and safe holiday and New Year. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2013-2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in direct property damage. In addition to fires caused by trees, fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 780 home fires that began with holiday decorations.

“The holiday season is a time for everyone to come together,” said FASNY President Steven Klein. “This season is also when we see an increase in home fires. Avoiding old light strands, watering your Christmas tree, and being mindful of candles and cooking are all simple and easy ways that everyone can be safe. We hope that everyone has a great holiday and a Happy New Year!”

In addition to decorating safely, it is critical to have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms in the home. Three of every five home fire deaths in the United States occurs in homes without smoke alarms or working smoke alarms.  New York State currently leads the nation in home fire deaths with 120 this year, leading the more populous states of California, Texas, and Pennsylvania. 

Holiday decorating tips from FASNY and the National Fire Protection Association:

 Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Fire Safety Tips For Your Christmas Tree

Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.


About FASNY 

Founded in 1872, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) represents the interests of the approximately 105,000 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical personnel in New York State.  For more information, visit  


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