The Berkeley Fire Department is offering several tips that could help people reduce the chances of being a fire casualty this holiday season.
Candles might add to the holiday spirit, but they should be kept away from decorations and other combustible materials. It is also important to keep all candles and matches away from children.
Candles should also not be used as Christmas tree ornaments. When buying Christmas lights, buy only those that have been laboratory tested, and always unplug them before you leave or go to sleep.
It is also important to buy a fresh tree and keep it that way by watering it daily.
Dried-up trees are extremely flammable, and all trees should be kept away from exits and heat sources.
The Berkeley Fire Department is also warning against the use of Christmas tree fire alarms, or fire alarms that look like ornaments, which have not been approved by the State of California Fire Marshal for use on any tree. Since Christmas tree fires move extremely fast, the devices are inappropriate for use on trees and their use might give people a false sense of security.
And as always, it is good common sense to check the batteries on your smoke alarms and make sure that the detectors are working properly.
For more information on these tips, contact the Berkeley office of emergency services at (510) 981-5605.