Keep the Wreath Red: Fire prevention safety tips - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Keep the Wreath Red: Fire prevention safety tips


Each year, the fire department in this western Hamilton County suburb holds a “Keep the Wreath Red” campaign to underscore fire safety during the holiday season.

This year, in the program's third week, crews responded to a house fire they describe as preventable. They say it resulted from an overloaded extension cord.

A resident suffered from smoke inhalation, and two family dogs died. Damage was set at $50,000.

While this particular incident did not specifically involve holiday lights, fire officials say increased risk remains for such incidents.

With the amplified use of extension cords and string lighting, the possibility of overloading a circuit is particularly heightened.

Here are a few safety tips when dealing with extension cords and holiday lights:

  • Inspect cords for damage
  • Look for damaged insulation, splices, or loose plugs
  • Never runs cords through doorways or under rugs
  • Insulation can become damaged easier
  • The potential fire/shock hazard is increased
  • Do not cover up charging phones or tablets. This allows heat to dissipate
  • Store cords indoors when not in use
  • Outside conditions can lead to deterioration
  • Never use indoor cords outdoors
  • Know the cord rating and total load on the cord
  • If the cord is warm to the touch after 20-30 minutes of operation reduce the load on it
  • Try to refrain from daisy chaining (connecting multiple) cords together
  • Turn lights off when you go to bed
  • Plug your lights into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)

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