Between now and New Year’s Day, first responders see an increase in 9-1-1 calls for emergencies related to carbon monoxide alarms and poisoning, electrical fires, and fires caused by unattended candles or through the improper use of space heaters.
On Saturday, Dec. 11, Los Angeles County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies rescued three residents, including a child, after responding to a fire in a Florence area home caused by a space heater. All three patients were transported to a local area hospital.
This incident serves as a critical reminder about the importance of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as well as spreading the message of fire prevention at home.
During last year’s holiday season, the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD) responded to 81 holiday tree-related fires, 11 kitchen fires, and 68 traffic collisions. There were also two fatalities from fires, including one on Christmas Day.
“As we all get ready to ‘deck the halls’ this holiday season, we hope you keep safety in mind,” said interim Fire Chief Anthony C. Marrone.
“We want everyone to be safe and enjoy their time together, making happy memories with loved ones.”
Here are some holiday safety tips to prevent fires and injuries at home:
If you have a fresh tree, keep it well-watered and hydrated; dried-out trees become a fire danger.
Do NOT place trees where they will block exits – and make sure trees are at least THREE FEET away from any heat source, like fireplaces, candles, or heaters. Choose ornaments and decorations that are flame-resistant and flame-retardant.
Do NOT overload electrical circuits – and carefully inspect extension cords for any wear-and-tear or fraying. Do NOT run cords across doorways or under rugs. If you are having problems with blown fuses or circuit breakers, call a licensed electrician to make repairs.
Always turn off your tree lights and extinguish candles before leaving home or going to bed.
Make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and working properly — and that you have a fire extinguisher near you in your kitchen.
Before you and your family go to bed, remember to “Close Before You Doze.” Closing the bedroom door can help save your life by slowing the spread of flames – and prevent heat, smoke, and deadly gases from filling your room.
And lastly, have an emergency plan in place! Create your plan by downloading the Family Instructions for Rapid Escape guide which includes simple steps to ensure your family and home are F.I.R.E.-safe and emphasizes the use of a window as the quickest, safest, and most immediate way out.
For additional holiday safety tips, please visit our website at fire.lacounty.gov.