Ester Fire Station: Tips for preventing holiday house fires

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) During the winter, and especially around Christmas, many people’s homes are at increased risk of fire. We spoke to a local fire department about some ways to prevent house fires this winter.

Christmas time and winter increases the chance for house fires. The Ester Fire Department gives some tips for protecting your house from fires this holiday season. (John Dougherty/KTVF)

Ester Volunteer Fire Department firefighter David DeCaro gave some tips for preventing fires if you choose a real Christmas tree.
“So with your Christmas tree, making sure it’s watered. Check it every day to make sure there is plenty of water and it’s staying nice and moist and not drying out,” DeCaro said. He added that 33% of fires from Christmas trees are caused by having more than three strands of lights on a tree. He also encourages people to use LED lights as they give off less heat. He also said to make sure to check the lights to make sure there is no exposed wire. Finally, he recommends unplugging trees at night or when people leave their house.

When it comes to how people heat their houses in the winter, DeCaro said to make sure you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
He also said, “Make sure you have fire extinguishers that are in service and have been inspected, “ DeCaro said. “And then, with any heat source, making sure there is three or more feet separation between like the couch or the table that has a table cloth or anything that can ignite.”

For wood stoves, DeCaro said to make sure that the stove pipe is clean so the creosote doesn’t build up and catch fire. The Ester Volunteer Fire Station has free stove pipe cleaners that people can check out to clean their chimneys.

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