Fire brigade urges caution when decorating for Christmas
As Jamaicans continue to decorate their homes for Christmas the Jamaica Fire Brigade (JFB) is urging citizens to take precautions to prevent fires.
In a recent interview with JIS News, acting research and planning officer, JFB, Jay Scott said persons should ensure that Christmas lights are placed in the correct location.
“A lot of persons are not aware that there may be instances where lights are either supposed to be used indoors or outdoors, so we encourage persons to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that they are using the appropriate lighting at the appropriate location,” said Scott.
He noted that persons should also do a thorough check of the lights before putting them up within their homes.
“Sometimes we tend to just go in the old boxes and take out what we would have used for previous years, with scant regard for the condition that they are in. So, we want to implore persons to ensure that the lighting that they are using are not damaged in any way,” advised Scott, adding that if there is any damage to the light, it should be replaced.
Scott further urged caution for those who want to use candles as part of their décor. “I would say go for lights as opposed to candles because we know that candles are riskier in terms of fires. If you do choose to use candles, [do not] put them near any of the other decorations, curtains, or anything that is combustible,” he said.
The acting, planning, and research officer pointed out that the use of Christmas trees is another safety concern that relates to decorating for the holidays.
There are some of us who opt for real trees and what we tend to do is just have them over the period, not remembering that if these trees get dry then they increase the risk of fires. So, coupled with the lighting on the tree, we have to make sure that the tree, if it is a real tree, it is watered constantly to keep that moisture within it to make it less likely to become involved in a fire,” cautioned Scott.