The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Holiday Safety Tips

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It’s time to deck the halls, but it’s also a season where fire can be a threat Key West Fire Chief Michael Davila wants to remind the community to be alert for possible fire hazards that can sneak into our homes over the holidays. Space heaters, candles and dry Christmas trees are just some of the potentially dangerous additions to our homes this time of year.

In addition, Chief Davila wants to remind the community that, following Hurricane Irma, residents may need to be careful setting up outdoor lighting. Dead foliage, leaf piles and leftover debris could create a fire hazard where there wasn’t one before. Take a little extra care to be sure your family has a safe and happy holiday season.

Each year, lives are lost and homes destroyed because of unsafe use of heaters. The following are some tips to ensure you don’t become a statistic:

  • Never use ovens, ranges or grills as heating devices
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors
  • Keep all heating devices at least 36 inches away from other objects, including walls and furniture
  • Never use an extension cord with a space heater, and never leave it unattended
  • Keep candles at least one foot away from anything flammable and never leave one unattended
  • Be sure your smoke alarm is tested monthly
  • Use an artificial tree, or be sure your real one is fresh and keep it watered
  • Use safe lights, check cords for wear, and don’t use more than three strands on one extension cord
  • Keep candles a long, safe distance from the tree
  • Do not allow children to handle the lights
  • Never use indoor extension cords out of doors
  • Unplug the lights before changing bulbs

Finally, even cooking can be hazardous if we don’t follow a few simple steps:

  • Do not leave a stove unattended
  • Keep saucepan handles turned away from the front of the stove so that children cannot pull them down

If you deep fry a turkey, be extra careful; do not use the deep fryer under a deck and be sure to keep children away from that vat of hot oil. This is a potential dangerous means of cooking, so be fully aware of the hazards before you start.