Rincon Valley and Windsor Fire Protection Districts

Holiday Safety

Happy…and Safe…Holidays

Safe holidays are happy holidaysBefore the hustle and bustle begins, please take a few minutes to review and put in place these safety tips.

First and Most Important Tip:  ALWAYS call 911 in an emergency.

First and Most Important Tip Part 2:  Make certain every smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home is in good working order. There should be a fire alarm in every bedroom and in the hallway outside of bedrooms.  Make sure kids and overnight guests know two ways out of every room.

Christmas Trees

  1. When you buy a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and do not break if you pinch them. The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with resin, and when the tree is tapped on the ground, very few needles should fall off.
  2. Always place your tree away from fireplaces and/or heaters.
  3. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways with it.
  4. Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.
  5. Be sure to keep the stand filled with water; heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly.
  6. When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.”


  1. Before using lights outdoors, be sure they are certified for outdoor use. To hold lights in place, we recommend purchasing plastic holders designed for this purpose. As an alternative, string them through hooks or insulated staples. Never use nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them.
  2. Check all tree lights—even if you’ve just purchased them—before hanging them on your tree. Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets, or loose connections.
  3. Consider replacing old lights with LED lights. They are safer, “greener,” and cost much less to operate.
  4. Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) to avoid potential shocks.
  5. Always turn off all holiday lights when you go to bed or leave the house.


  1. Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials to trim a tree.
  2. Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
  3. Place candles where they will not be knocked down and out of reach of small children. We strongly recommend using battery-operated LED candles.
  4. If you have small children, avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable.
  5. Remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from tree and fireplace areas after gifts are opened. Do not burn any of these items: Place them in the recycle or garbage bin.

Holiday Parties

  1. When preparing for the party, double check that candles are placed where they can’t be knocked over during the evening’s festivities (or use battery-operated candles).
  2. During the party, keep an eye on your little ones and/or pets to make sure they aren’t eating or drinking anything they shouldn’t.
  3. Clean up immediately after a holiday party for the same reasons.
  4. Before you go to bed, make sure you have blown out all of the candles.  Many house fires happen when a candle has been left burning and hot way drips to the floor and ignites.


  1. Before lighting any fire, make sure the flue is open.
  2. Remove all greens, boughs, papers, etc., from fireplace area.
  3. Do not burn wrapping papers nor Christmas trees/greens in the fireplace.