Keep your home safe from fire this holiday season

Fire marshall offers tips for trees, lights and decorations.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind citizens to be fire safe with their holiday decorations this season, especially Christmas trees.

If your household includes a natural tree in its festivities, keep the tree well-watered. Improper care and decoration of a live or artificial tree can lead to catastrophic fires.

“It takes only seconds for a tree to ignite and the entire room to become engulfed in flames,” State Fire Marshal Chuck Duffy said in a press release.

By following some of the outlined precautionary tips, individuals can ensure a safe and happy holiday:

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires

• Selecting a tree for the holiday: Needles on a freshly cut tree should be green and hard to pull back from the branches; the needles should not break. A dried out tree can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground, if many needles fall off, the tree has dried out and is a fire hazard.

• Caring for your tree: Before setting up your tree, cut the base at a 45-degree angle and place in water. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

• Place tree at least three feet away from heat sources: Fireplaces and heat vents, radiators, and space heaters will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flames or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.

Holiday Lights

• Maintain your holiday lights; Use only lighting that has been listed by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up. Never connect more than three strands of lights sets.

• Do not overload electrical outlets; Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet; never linking more than 3 strands together at a time. Flickering lights, tripped circuit breakers, and blown fuses are warning signs that your home’s electrical outlets may be overloaded.

Holiday Decorations

• Use only nonflammable decorations. All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant.

• Artificial Christmas Trees. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Down the block at Williams Avenue South, trees were also removed, Monday, June 15. Photo by Haley Ausbun.
Tree in front of Common Ground Cupcakes removed

The city was not able to preserve the 48-year-old tree during utility upgrades. Staff also say the tree was nearing the end of its healthy lifespan.

The Red Lion Inn at 1 South Grady Way in Renton is being used as temporary site to relocate individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Renton finds code violation, issues Aug. 9 removal of Red Lion Hotel temporary shelter

County officials believe emergency health order will supersede city’s move.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Most Read