Fire safety during the holidays

by Chris Gulker on December 18, 2009

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The Menlo Park Fire Department holds an annual fire safety demonstration at its Bayfront training facility near the Dumbarton Bridge. This year’s demo highlighted the hazards of solid fuels that are most often the cause of holiday fires – candles, firewood and fireplaces, and, as seen here, Christmas trees.

Menlo Park has seen three fatalities from holiday fires in recent years, and Menlo Fire Chief Harold Schappelhouman stresses the importance of never leaving any fire – including candles – unattended, especially in homes where children and pets are present.

Menloites should be aware that the City has adopted a tough new ordinance pertaining to wood-burning fireplaces, which, while it does not (currently) ban the use of existing fireplaces, does set strict standards for what can be burned (dry firewood only) and for new construction, requiring the use of only EPA-approved wood-burning devices in the future.

Photo by Carlos Barrera, courtesy of  Exponent Failure Analysis

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