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Winter Safety Tips

Adopt A Hydrant – Save A Life

 The Horsham Township Fire and Rescue Services wants to remind citizens as they clear their driveways and sidewalks this winter that if there is a fire hydrant on or near your property, please take a few moments and shovel the snow away from it as well. Clearing the snow away from a hydrant increases its visibility and can save precious time when firefighters need additional water to fight a fire.
 
Please clear a path around three feet around the hydrant and shovel a path from the street or roadway up to the fire hydrant. Fire hydrants that are blocked or concealed by snow may potentially delay gaining a water supply, which ultimately disrupts the timely manner in which firefighters are able to fight the fire.
 
We strongly encourage all residents to adopt a hydrant on their street during this winter. With the winter season on the way there is concern that hydrants may become hard to locate. In addition, please make sure your street address signage on your mailboxes and homes is also clear from snow to allow proper identification and make it easier for emergency crews to location your house during emergency responses.
 
The Horsham Township Fire Company wants citizens to know that they appreciate their help in the removal of snow from around local fire hydrants.
 

Winter Holiday Safety

A lighted tree, brightly colored presents, stockings hung and a blazing fire - the scene is quintessential for the holiday. But is it safe? Whenever you add fire to a scene, you need to add an extra level of caution. There’s a reason the holiday classic A Visit from St. Nicholas said that the stockings were hung “with care.” Here are some tips for fireplace safety around the holidays:
 
Hang stockings with care.  Never hang stockings in front of a burning fire. Stockings can be hung when the fire is not lit, but should be moved to another location when the fireplace is in use. 
 
Manage your mantel.  When decorating your fireplace mantel, be sure to keep combustible materials such as greenery or ribbons away from any possible spark or flame.
 
Steer your tree clear.  Your tree should be positioned at least three feet away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. 
 
Use candles with care.  Candles are a traditional and beautiful part of the season. But they are still a direct source of fire in your home. Keep candles a safe distance from other things. And remember that a flickering flame is a thing of fascination to little children. Keep candles out of their reach.
  • Never use lighted candles on a tree or near other evergreens.
  • Always use non-flammable holders.
  • Keep candles away from other decorations and wrapping paper.
  • Place candles where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
Toss your wrap.  Never burn used wrapping paper in the fireplace as it may cause intense flash fires. Consider recycling instead.
 
Trees.  Christmas trees that are not kept moist can present a very serious fire hazard. A dried out Christmas tree can be totally consumed by fire in less than 30 seconds. Take special precautions when buying your Christmas tree. Trees with brown shedding needles should be rejected. If the tree looks green and fresh, take a long needle and bend it between your thumb and forefinger. If it snaps, the tree is too dry. Look for trees with needles that bend. When the trunk of a tree is bounced on the ground, a shower of falling needles shows that tree is dry. When you bring a tree home, cut about an inch off the end of the trunk. This will remove the dried end and allow the tree to absorb water. Make checkerboard cuts into the base at different angles to make a greater surface for water absorption. Always turn off lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave your home. A short circuit in any of this equipment could cause a fire. Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. Damaged insulation in lighting on a metallic tree could cause the entire tree to be charged with electricity. To avoid this danger, use colored spotlights above or beside a metal tree, never fastened onto it. Keep children away from light sets and electrical decorations. All lights present the problem of shock and casualty hazards for curious kids. When you are stringing the lights on your tree, be careful how you place them. Keep all bulbs turned away from gifts and paper ornaments. Lights in windows can cause curtains and drapes to ignite. 
 
Holiday Plants.  Holly and mistletoe can be fatal to a small child and the smaller the child, the smaller the dose that can cause serious medical problems. Poinsettia leaves are not fatal if swallowed, but can cause a skin rash and an upset stomach. Call 9-1-1 if your children ingest any of these holiday plants. 

Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets.  Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires – they should not be warm to the touch.

Don't Block Exits.  Ensure that trees and other holiday decorations do not block an exit way. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry/exit way puts you and your family at risk.