Holidays can be a dangerous time

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 18, 2002

For some, this is a wondrous time of year. The celebration of Christmas and the New Year is the most festive and religious time in America.

It is a time to give thanks and to help others. We are often in our best spirits during the holidays and we often do our best work &045;&045; as it relates to helping our fellow man &045;&045; during this time.

This is also one of the most dangerous times of the year. Any firefighter will tell you that the combination of cold weather and the holidays is dangerous.

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People often resort to space heaters to stay warm during cool periods. These heaters are notorious for causing house fires. Additionally, holiday lights are a threat to cause an electrical fire.

Live Christmas trees are also a fire hazard if they are not kept watered. This is also a time when we cook often and kitchen fires can erupt instantly.

Sunday night a house caught fire in Selma and smoke from the fire filled downtown. The fire was believed to have started in the kitchen as a grease fire. Fortunately no one was injured.

Tuesday, a home caught fire in the Tyler area and three residents of the home were killed. This is a terrible tragedy and comes during a time of year when we are accustomed to celebrating &045;&045; not

mourning. Our sympathy goes out to the family and we pray for the family’s strength during this time.

We encourage all families to be extra cautious and aware of the danger of house fires this time of year.

The basics of preventing fire are simple and worth repeating. All homes should have smoke detectors that function. Families should have an escape plan in the event of fire.

Fire extinguishers should be readily available in the home.

Christmas trees should be watered then disposed of once Christmas has passed. Decorative Christmas lights should be inspected for damage. Space heaters should be kept away from anything flammable and used sparingly.

We urge caution during this holiday period and we should all remember that the threat of fire is real and can strike anyone.