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Tis’ the season to be … SAFE! Deck the halls with boughs of safety!
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it may be tempting to take a few short cuts. The Asbury Park Fire Department asks that you make sure that safety isn’t one of them!
• Christmas trees require special attention – When selecting a tree, freshness is important. A dried-out tree could be a fire hazard. Water your tree daily and do not place it close to any heat source. Make sure your tree is in a sturdy holder and can't be knocked over by pets or children.
• Attention Businesses and Building Owners – Live vegetation/decorative materials (ie Christmas trees, wreaths etc) are prohibited in places of assembly (bars, restaurants, churches, etc). There are exceptions, but business and building owners should contact the Bureau of Fire Prevention for those exceptions PRIOR to adding a live tree to their holiday decorations.
• 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 having the City’s recycling service pick it up on your designated pick up day.
• Holiday lights – Indoors or out, only use lights that have been tested by an approved testing laboratory for safety, such as UL. All lights should be inspected for frayed wires, bare spots, broken or cracked sockets or excessive wear before plugging them in and discard any damaged lights. Avoid stringing more than three light strands together.
• Firing up the fireplace? Cool your ashes! Every year “cold” ashes result in house fires. Treat all ashes and coals as HOT ashes, even when you think they have had enough time to cool. Your garage, house or deck are unsafe locations for ashes to cool and have been the site of many recent and devastating fires.
• Candle fires peak during the holiday season – Most holiday candle fires occur when people leave burning candles unattended or place candles too close to holiday decorations. Keep candles in sight, in a secure holder and on a safe surface away from children and pets. Consider using flameless, battery-operated candles, making them much safer.
For questions, please contact the Asbury Park Bureau of Fire Prevention at 732-774-7400.