PLATTSBURGH – The Clinton County Firefighters Association wishes everyone a wonderful holiday season and wants to remind all to be safe.
“Public safety and protection is especially important during this celebratory season,” said Chuck Kostyk, public relations chair. “The 28 member departments of the CCFA stand ready to serve their communities 24-hours-a-day. Please feel free to stop by your local fire station if you have any questions.”
The Clinton County Firefighters Association offered an array of tips for the holiday season.
The group advised individuals to check trees for fresh, green needles as trees that have dried out over several weeks are easier to ignite. It is also important to keep trees watered at all times, using stands that hold at least one gallon of water as the average trunk can consume as much as four quarts or one gallon of water per day.
Trees should be kept at least three feet from fireplaces, radiators, space heaters and heating vents and should not block exits.
It is important to look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) Marks on light strings, electrical decorations and extension cords. That mark means UL engineers tested samples of the product for safety hazards.
Ensure lights, decorations and extension cords are rated for outdoor use. Lights intended for indoor-only use bear green UL Marks, and those intended for indoor and outdoor use bear red UL Marks.
Follow instructions for electrical decorations and carefully inspect each one before plugging it in. Cracked sockets, and frayed, bare or loose wires can cause serious electric shock or start a fire.
Don’t use staples or nails to hang light strings, but instead purchase hooks or clips designed for hanging light strings.
Check packaging to determine the maximum number of strings that may be connected or only connect a maximum of three midget light strings or up to 50 bulbs of light strings with the screw-in bulbs.
Don’t overload extension cords by plugging in too many decorations, and turn off all electrical lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
Candles should be kept away from decorations, curtains, bedding, paper, walls, furniture and other combustible materials.
Place candles away from spots where they could be knocked over by a person or pet.
Use only sturdy, non-combustible candleholders that can collect dripping wax and won’t tip over, and extinguish candles when two inches of wax remains or a half-inch of the candle is in a container.
Never use lit candles to decorate trees and extinguish them when leaving the room or going to sleep.
The Clinton County Firefighters Association advises using wooden or fiberglass ladders when near power lines and electrical wiring as metal ladders conduct electricity.
Make sure the ladder is the correct height for the job by ensuring that it extends three feet beyond the roofline or work surface.
Set the ladder on a firm, level surface, and never exceed the ladder’s weight limit or stand on a step ladder’s bucket shelf.
Only one person should be on a ladder at a time and never carry equipment while climbing. Wear a tool belt or have someone hand equipment to you instead.