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Information Articles for the Paris TN and Henry County Tennessee area


Information Articles for the Paris TN and Henry County Tennessee area

Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office Launches “Be a Good Elf” Holiday Safety Campaign

November 21, 2016 | Email This Post Print This Post

Tennessee State Fire MarshalNashville, TN – ‘Tis the season for cheerful decorations, family gatherings, and…home fires? Unfortunately, the holiday season means greater risks of fire hazards as homeowners spend more time indoors in kitchens and installing electrical holiday decorations.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) announces today a new safety campaign to spread awareness of holiday fire risks and the ways they can be avoided. The campaign was launched in response to an annual increase of home fires during the holiday season.

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“Fires, injuries, and property loss associated with holiday cooking and decorating are all too common,” said State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “Fortunately, these fires can be prevented with very little time and effort. We enlisted some of Santa’s helpers to showcase a few simple precautions Tennesseans can take to decrease the risk of home fire during this festive season.”

The SFMO’s “Be A Good Elf” holiday PSA encourages Tennesseans to avoid distractions and make good choices as they deck the halls this year. The campaign focuses on three common causes of holiday home fires: unattended cooking, dry and neglected Christmas trees, and overloaded electrical outlets.

Throughout the holiday season, the SFMO will be using social media to share holiday fire safety tips and invites Tennesseans to join the conversation by using the hashtag #beagoodelf.

In addition to distributing the PSAs via TV, radio, and social media, the SFMO will provide safety posters to various Christmas tree retail lots across the state. The posters will remind consumers of Christmas tree safety tips, including the importance of keeping natural trees watered.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office shares the following home safety guidelines to help Tennesseans reduce the risk of holiday fires:

  • Pay Attention in the Kitchen. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food and use a timer when simmering, baking, or roasting food. Avoid cooking if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol, or have taken medicine or drugs
    that make you drowsy.
  • Water that Tree! Do not let live trees dry out. Keep them watered and recycle them promptly after the holiday. If you are using a metallic or artificial tree make sure it is flame retardant.
  • 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.
  • 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. Not all holiday lights are made equal so be sure that you know whether yours are for indoor or outdoor use and use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights to keep cords from getting damaged.
  • Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended. Turn them off when you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Avoid Using Lit Candles to Decorate. If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never put lit candles on a tree. Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle.
  • Keep Escape Routes Clear. Do not block exit routes with trees or decorations.

For more information on making your home fire-safe, download and print the State Fire Marshal’s home fire safety checklist. Tennessee residents can request a free smoke alarm by visiting

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