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Posted on: December 6, 2018

Winter Weather Safety Tips

Placing Christmas Tree Lights

With winter weather in the forecast and holiday decorating at its peak, the Midwest City Fire Department would like to remind residents of important tips for preventing winter fires.

“We want to emphasize safety with candles because more than one third of the home decoration fires are started by candles,” said Major David Richardson.  “Never burn a candle on or near anything that could catch fire, such as furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets or flammable decorations.”

Richardson said it is also important to keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. “Make sure the area around your candle is free of clutter and don’t leave it unattended for any length of time.

“It also a good time to check that all smoke detectors are working in your home.”

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of indoor and outdoor holiday light strands to connect.
Residents who have live Christmas trees should keep them away from heat sources and water the tree daily. “Make sure the tree doesn’t block any exists, in the event of an emergency,” Richardson noted.

Don’t use an extension cord or power strip with a space heater, never leave one unattended and don’t let pets or children too close to the heater. Don’t place a space heater on cabinets, tables, furniture or carpets.

In the event of a power outage, residents should call their electric utility and not 9-1-1.  If there is a power outage, flashlights are much safer to use than candles.

Residents with generators will want to store the fuel in an approved safety can and make sure to use the type of fuel recommended on the label on the generator. Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling.

Travel may be difficult late Friday and over the weekend. Residents may wish to make sure they have enough of their medications on hand. Last minute grocery shopping should include non-perishables in the event of a power outage.

Have an emergency kit and make sure it is well stocked with water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, and first aid kit. The Department of Homeland Security has detailed information about emergency kits on their website at ready.gov/build-a-kit.

Cell phones are the sole means of communication in many homes. Residents should keep cell phones charged for emergency calls should there be a power outage.

Richardson also stressed that in the event of severe weather, first responders are typically busy and emergency calls are prioritized for urgency. “We appreciate the patience and understanding of our residents if our response is delayed."

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