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Municipality of the District of Chester
Fire & Emergency Response

Each year serious fires occur during the holiday season. There are simple life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday. By following some of the outlined precautionary tips, individuals can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty.  


Christmas Tree fires can be very serious and deadly.Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases. 

Select a fresh tree. Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch.

Take care of  your tree. Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. Do not put up your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

Disposing of your tree. Never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or woodburning stove. When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. 


Maintain your holiday lights -  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. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended.

Do not overload electrical outlets - Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch.

Use only nonflammable decorations - All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant and placed away from heat vents. Never put wrapping paper in a fireplace. It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.

Use candles carefully-  If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning. Never put lit candles on a tree.

Please visit DECORATING SAFETY for more information. Be safe 


The holiday season is a great time for entertaining, but decorative lights and home cooked meals that add to the ambiance also increase the likelihood of home fires and electrical accidents. Prevent electrical fires and protect your family this holiday with these SAFETY TIPS


Have working smoke detectors installed on every level of your home.
Test them monthly and keep them clean and equipped with fresh batteries at all times.
Know when and how to call for help.
Remember to practice your home escape plan.