Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue will place a wreath, which is illuminated with green bulbs, at Shelter Cove Park. If a fire occurs during the Holiday Season, one of the green bulbs will change to white or red. This will include preventable fires such as cooking, smoking, space heaters, candles, etc. The goal is to keep the wreath green. The wreath will remain lit Thanksgiving through January 1, 2017.
Decorations / Lights
Be sure all indoor and outdoor holiday lights have a label from an independent testing lab. Don't keep any lights with frayed or cracked cords or damaged sockets. As a general rule never connect more than 3 strands of lights together but it's best to check the manufacturer's recommendation. Don't overload your outlets or run extension cords under carpets.
Are your lights approved for outdoor use? Indoor lights can catch fire if used outside. Do not over load your lights by connecting more than is recommended. Not only will you short out circuits but you could also cause a fire. Make sure all exterior lights are plugged into a ground fault interrupter circuit.
When putting up lights outside, try to pick a day when the weather is good. Wind can increase the chance of you losing your balance and in the case of rain, no one wants to be working with electricity!
Test all your lights before you get up on the roof .It's easier to replace bulbs on the ground! Make sure your ladder is on stable even ground before you use it.
Use clips made for hanging lights such as gutter clips and trim clips. Do not use a staple gun to hang your lights. A staple gun can crush the light strand and cause it to short out or catch fire.Keep in mind that decorative lights are made for temporary use ~ take them down within 90 days to prevent them being damaged by the weather.
When using a live tree, check to make sure the needles are fresh and green. If the needles fall off easily, that means the tree is drying out and a dry tree is a fire hazard. Location of the tree is important ~ do not place it near any heat source like a fireplace. Water your tree daily.
Make sure all candles are in non-tip candle holders. Trim wicks before use. Long wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring. Don't burn a candle all the way down ~ stop using it when about 2 inches of wax remain. Keep candles away from curtains, windows, or exits. Candles on a low coffee table can be a danger for small children or pets. Never leave candles unattended.
Always use a fire screen for your fireplace. Never overload your fireplace and donâ€™t burn trash or wrapping paper ~ it can cause an explosion. Never leave your fireplace unattended while burning and have it inspected at least once a year.
Never use heaters around water. Water increases the chances of electric shock. Unplug your heater when it is not in use. Don't use your heater as a dryer. Keep clothing and other combustible materials at least 3 feet from your heater. Don't place a heater in a doorway, hall or walkway where itâ€™s likely to get bumped. Don't leave space heaters unattended.
As always, check your smoke alarms and make sure they are in good working order. Change your batteries twice a year.
We wish you a safe and happy holiday season. If you have any questions, please contact Hilton Head Island Fire Rescue Public Education Office at 843-682-5141.