Fire Marshal urges holiday fire safety

PIERRE, S.D. (Press Release) – Everybody likes the bright lights of Christmas, but South Dakota’s Fire Marshal says fire safety must also be a priority during the holiday season.

Home fires are always a threat during the holidays. Fire Marshal Paul Merriman said the potential for fires is higher than usual because there are more chances for fires to begin.

“With more lights, more candles, more cooking, more fireplaces and more space heaters being used, the chances of a home fire increase at this time of the year,” he said. “Use holiday lighting safely, never leave burning candles unattended, practice cooking safety and, if you have a real Christmas tree, make sure it is adequately watered to prevent it from becoming too dry.”

No matter what time of year, Merriman said home fire safety must also include smoke alarms. He suggested testing smoke alarms regularly to ensure there are working smoke alarms on each level of the home, in each bedroom, and adjacent to sleeping areas.

Other holiday fire safety tips can be found here:

The South Dakota Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.