Keeping the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Wonderful!
The holidays are here, and so is the colder weather. Parties, family gatherings, holiday cooking — many people really look forward to the holiday season, but for firefighters, it’s our worst time of year.
Our largest fire losses, injuries and deaths always seem to happen during the holidays. It’s usually because of improper use of heating equipment (like space heaters and fireplaces), cooking, or Christmas trees and decorations (such as candles).
If an accident happens, will you know in time to get yourself, your family, and your pets out of the house?
Station House BSL
The most important thing you can do in preparing for the holidays is to have working smoke detectors in your home. If you have them, do you know for sure that they work? Do they have fresh batteries? If you have wired detectors attached to an alarm system, have you tested it recently? NOW is the time to do so! If you need help checking your detectors, give us (or your local fire department) a call. We’ll be happy to come check them. Also, if you do not have a monitored fire alarm system, please consider getting one! Too often we see devastating fires that could have been caught when it was small, well before it got out of control, if only there had been a monitored alarm system in use.
PLEASE be careful when using space heaters. NEVER leave them unattended, and be especially careful with them around pets and children. You should already have a plan for keeping your outdoor pets warm this winter. We’ve seen too many people who have lost everything they own, and their pets, from fires caused by a space heater. If you can’t bring a pet indoors, give them a good shelter out of the wind and lots of hay or blankets, and fresh (unfrozen!) water. Never put a space heater in an area where there are blankets, hay or flammable liquids. NEVER place heaters close to anything that can burn or melt. Always leave at least three feet of empty space around and above a space heater. Never put it on carpet or rugs, or near curtains, furniture or bed covers.
If you haven’t already had your fireplace checked and cleaned, don’t wait; do it now. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it should be cleaned each year before use. Gas fireplaces should be checked, and gas lines inspected by a certified plumber.
If you aren’t 100 percent sure if what you are doing is safe call us and ask for a supervisor or a chief officer. We’ll be happy to come take a look, give advice, and answer questions. That’s why we’re here, and that’s how we’d rather get to know you.
For more information on winter and holiday safety, visit this link.
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season from the Bay St. Louis Fire Department!