By: Christopher Griffiths
This Christmas, when your chestnuts are roasting over an open fire, make sure you know enough about fire safety in case of an emergency. An unwanted fire could ruin your winter wonderland.
Evergreens can not only be beautiful, but deadly as well. Fire Explorer Sergio Rivas says, “Lights on your Christmas tree can malfunction and set it on fire, especially if the branches are dry or dead.”
All California residents, especially students should learn about home fire safety, because of the drought in our great state. Over Christmas season, there are many dangers that could cause a fire, but you can prevent them and know what to do just in case, using these tips.
Sergio Rivas says, “First of all, never deep fry a turkey. Also, 80% of house fires start because a gas stove was left on, so make sure to turn them off. Another precaution to take is to unplug your Febreze air freshener from time to time, as it could overload the socket.”
But what if a fire has already started? It would be helpful to know what to do. You could talk to your family and designate a spot to meet outside of the house, so everyone will be prepared.
“The first thing to do is exit the structure and evacuate everyone even if someone is injured and hard to move. If anyone is burned, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) carries ointment and bandages for the victims,” says Sergio.
Max Boxeth, Samueli senior, is not only a Boy Scout, but lives next to a fire station as well.
He says, “Living next to a fire station has definitely affected my knowledge of fire safety. I used my neighborly connections to get a tour of the station when I was younger, after which I was handed back over the fence into my yard. I know not to touch metal doorknobs and to stay low during a fire, as well as how to properly control a bonfire.”
Another thing you can do is check if your smoke alarms work. According to mysmokealarm.org, there are about 5 million homes in the U.S. without smoke alarms. And according to nfpa.org, dead batteries caused 24% of smoke alarm failures.
When asked if he trusts the smoke alarms in his house, Max explains, “ Of course; it goes off everytime we cook sausage.”
Whether you eat sausage or not this Christmas, remember these tips and have a safe, warm holiday season... but not too warm!
Editor Board, 2017-2018
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