Fire safety tips – for the rest of the year
As we get closer to Christmas, most Christmas trees will dry up and become a ticking time bomb. (Photo Credit: Senior Airman Maxwell Daigle) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – As 2020 winds down, we still need to be watching for anything that may ruin the start of 2021 for you and your family – mostly fire safety.

Many of you have had your holiday decorations up for a while, but have you kept up watering your Christmas tree? Most trees will dry up and become a ticking time bomb.

The National Fire Protection Association tells us that 29% of the Christmas tree fires happen in January.

So check to see if the tree is still accepting water by filling the base at least every other day. Remember, the longer it stays inside the dryer it will become.

Then check your electrical lights plugs, ensuring they are still intact. If you are constantly plugging and unplugging the lights by the wires, they will become frayed.

The biggest cause of fires in dry trees are the electrical arching that come from the exposed wires. NFPA reports that electrical distribution or lighting equipment cause more than half the Christmas tree fires.

Are you still using the old fashion candles that have open flames? NFPA states that at least 51% of decoration fires are caused by candle flames. As you make your holiday plans for next year, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fire Prevention office encourages you to get battery operated candles.

COOKING SAFETY

Holiday cooking can be extremely stressful. We learned from NFPA that Thanksgiving and Christmas days are the leading cooking fire days.

Never leave cooking unattended. Maintain your 3-foot safe zone for kids and animals. If teens are going to help, ensure the social media devises are left out of kitchen.

Ensure nothing that can catch fire is near the stove top. If you have an oven fire, shut off power and leave door closed. For stove top fires, cover with lid shut off heat source.

And always call 911.

How about the turkey fryer? The fryer needs to be set up outside and at least 15 feet from your house.

Follow the manufacturer’s steps of preparing your fryer and cooking instruction. Never use a frozen or partially frozen bird.

Have that fire extinguisher handy in case something goes wrong.

We are encouraged by our response numbers and fire total this last year. So far this year, we have not had any major command-reportable fires on JBLM. That’s because of your vigilance and taking that extra minute to ensure it’s done correctly.

Let’s not falter.

Like we say every time, if you need us, we’re just a phone call away – 911 – and if you have any question please contact us at 253=377-4651 or edward.j.chavez.civ@mail.mil.