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Pasadena In Focus
November - December 2010

Lighting the Way to a Safe Holiday Season

 There’s nothing like the glow of the holidays – the lights, the fireplace, the shimmering candles.

Enjoy the warmth of the season safely with these tips from the Pasadena Fire Department:

Before hanging decorations, put fresh batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Wait until a week or two before Christmas to buy your tree, and take it down in early January. Dried-out trees are major fire hazards.

When shopping for your tree, give branches a tug. Needles should be green and stay in place.

Keep your tree in a stand filled with water, and replenish often. Find a safe spot away from fireplaces, candles and heater vents.

If you opt for an artificial tree or other decorations, make sure they’re flame retardant.

Before stringing any lights, check them carefully for frayed wires, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets or excessive wear. If you need to buy new ones, look for the logo of an approved testing laboratory on the box.

Check directions: Don’t overload electrical outlets or link more than three light strands at a time. If wires are warm to the touch, unplug them.

Keep any candles in sturdy holders and set them out of reach of children and pets. Better yet, look for LED models that flicker without flames.

Keep menorahs away from curtains and anything else that can go up in flames. A window sill is not a good spot for a menorah if the window has curtains or blinds. Instead, put the menorah on a table that has a fire-resistant surface.

Be sure to extinguish all candles and turn off your holiday lights before you leave home.

For more information, contact the city’s emergency management coordinator at
lderderian@cityofpasadena.net or 744-7276.