Yakima fire chief offers holiday safety tips

Yakima fire chief offers holiday safety tips

Yakima firefighters want residents to be safe this holiday season and are giving out a few tips to help.

One concern is the flammability of dry Christmas trees, which Yakima Fire Chief Aaron Markham compared to gasoline.

“If you grab the needles on the tree and they fall off in your hand after Christmas is over, then it’s probably time to … un-decorate it and get it outside,” Markham said.

Markham said it’s a good idea to make sure to water Christmas trees both before they come inside the home and consistently throughout the holiday season, as well as keeping trees away from heat sources and room exits.

Candles are another concern: Markham said the top three days of the year for candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Firefighters say never leave a burning candle unattended and consider using battery-operated flameless candles instead.

Holiday lights are yet another hazard. Markham said to check holiday lights for frayed wires and excessive wear, look at the manufacturer’s guide for how to use them safely and only use decorations that are flame-retardant or nonflammable.