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12 days of safety are good to remember

The state fire marshal’s office is currently highlighting fire safety leading up to Christmas.

Most of us have put up a Christmas tree and hopefully only connected the proper number of strands before putting it into the outlet — likewise for those outside decorations, however simple or elaborate.

Then there’s the cooking for family, co-workers and guests. Ovens will be hot the next couple weeks for cookie time, casseroles, a ham or turkey and much more.

The risk for holiday fires is greatly enhanced right now, just nine days from Santa’s arrival down the chimney.

Mike Chaney, the state’s insurance commissioner, whose office is partnering with the fire marshal, said the goal of the 12 Days of Christmas is to ensure everyone has a safe and happy Christmas this year.

The “Twelve Days of Christmas Fire Safety” are:

Day 1: Use caution with holiday decorations. When possible, choose those made with flame-retardant or non-combustible materials.

Day 2: Carefully inspect new and previously used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging lights in. Use lights that are approved by Underwriter’s Laboratories. Do not overload extension cords.   

Day 3: Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.   

Day 4: Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.     

Day 5: Never use lit candles to decorate a tree, and make sure any lit candles in the room are placed away from tree branches. 

Day 6: Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.

Day 7: Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water daily.    

Day 8: Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.    

Day 9: When cooking for the holidays remember to keep an eye on the range.   

Cooking fires are one of the leading causes of house fires during the holidays.

Day 10: When entertaining provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding.   

Day 11: After a party, always check on, between and under upholstery and cushions for cigarette butts.

Day 12: Take the tree down when it becomes dry. Recycle it, use it as a fish shelter in a farm pond or put it out with the trash. Do not burn it in the fireplace.