The Monterey Park Fire Department would like to remind everyone to be very careful during the holidays and practice fire safety with the use of Christmas lights, trees and while preparing the holiday dinner.
Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they are more likely to be serious. In previous years, we have seen an increase in the use of turkey fryers. While they provide a delicious turkey, they also present a unique danger if not used safely. The Monterey Park Fire Department would like to share a few tips to ensure you have a safe and joyous holiday season.
Christmas Tree Safety
Picking the tree
- Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
- Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2" from the base of the trunk.
- Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
- Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
- Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
- Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.
- Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of light strands to connect.
- Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
- Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Get rid of the tree after Christmas. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
- From January 2 - 13, 2017, residents may put their tree out of pick up by Athens Disposal on their trash day. After that, residents may cut up the Christmas tree and place in the green waste container or call Athens at 626-336-3636.
- Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.
Turkey Fryer Safety
Stay away from the house
- Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.
Find flat ground
- The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Place the fryer on a flat, level surface and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed.
Use a thawed and dry turkey
- Make sure your holiday turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.
Monitor the temp
- Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and could cause burns. Also be sure to keep track of the oil’s temperature as many fryers do not have their own thermostats.
- Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.
Captain Matt Hallock, Public Information Officer
Monterey Park Fire Department