Its beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!!!! We are well with in the countdown until Christmas, and most homes are already full adorned with holiday decorations. While this may be aesthetically pleasing, it can cause MAJOR problems for us in the fire service.
According to NFPA, and USFA aprox. 400 fires involving Christmas trees or holiday decorations occur each year! Think about that for a second, people usually do not start to put up decorations until after Thanksgiving, and do not take them down until New Years. So in tha span of about a month and a half we have about 400 fires nationwide. Thats separate from the normal cooking, residential heating, fires that we encounter on a regular basis. The chances of encountering one of these fires is a high likely hood, and depending on what type of tree, or holiday lighting configuration you could be facing a major event.
A simple ride in your district, can give you a lot of clues as to how people ar decoration and some of the challenges you may be faced with. If you serve a gated community, or a neighborhood with a homeowners association they usually have restrictions on the type of decorations allowed getting this information can help you in your threat assessment.
Also as we get closer to Christmas, in-laws, cousins, and family of all types head into town. Why does this matter? because that house of 4 just became a house of 10 and we have to have the resources available to rescue these victims from these structures.
DO NOT BE FOOLED during this time of year, the rancher could have 10 people, and be loaded down with a real christmas tree, and significant increased fire loading. We are always ready for everything (or we should be), but we need to be even more diligent during this time of year. Every one is a fire until we get there and determine it is not.
So be diligent, be ready, and most importantly STAY SAFE!
I also just want to give a quick thanks for everyone who listened to the podcast, and everyone who continually supports me in my mission of spreading the word of effective and efficient fire ground operations and taking complacency out of the fire service. It means more than you know especially lately.
As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!