Madison Fire Department shares fire safety tips ahead of holidays

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Fire Department is offering fire safety tips as the holidays approach and temperatures fall.

The fire department sees an uptick in heating-related fires as well as those caused by candles and electrical systems during the holiday season, fire protection engineer Bill Sullivan said. To prevent those, people should keep heating systems three feet away from combustible products, keep candles on stable surfaces where kids and pets can’t reach and inspect holiday decorations for damage or frayed wires.

When it comes to fireplaces, it’s important to have chimneys cleaned once per year and dispose of ashes properly, Sullivan said.

”We see a bigger issue with people thinking they’re out, and there might be a spark hidden, then they go out and put it in their garbage can and then that spark can last in there for several hours before it ignites some other products in the garbage,” Sullivan said, “so make sure it’s in a metal container outside of the house, away from the house.”

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When holiday guests come over, Sullivan said, it’s a good idea to review escape plans with them in case a fire breaks out. People should also check to make sure all of their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms are working, he added, especially since supplemental heat sources can create more of the gas.