Holiday Season Fire Safety Tips


Cambridge Fire Badge

Chief Gerald Reardon and the Cambridge Fire Department urge all residents of Cambridge to pay close attention to the increased risk of fire during the Christmas Holiday Season and in particular the risks inherent with the display of live or cut Christmas trees.

The Holiday season is typically regarded as extending from late November to early January and includes Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Day.  According to statistics released by the United States Fire Administration, fire deaths, injuries and dollar loss increase an average of 50%, 61% and 43% respectively from December 24-26.

Nearly one third of American households display a live or cut tree inside the home. In reaction to the cold weather, most people turn up their heat, which dries Christmas trees even more. Coupled with faulty wiring or lit candles, a Christmas tree provides sufficient fuel to ignite a serious fire. Please observe the following safety tips:

• Natural trees should be cut at a 45 angle at the base and placed in water.
• Place tree away from sources of heat.
• Use only non-flammable decorations.
• Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.
• Inspect lights for frayed wire or other defects before use.
• Do not leave lights on unattended.
• When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly.
• As always, test your smoke detector during the holiday season!

For more information, visit the Fire Department website at or contact Deputy Chief Gerard E. Mahoney at 617-349-4944.

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795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
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Monday: 8:30am-8pm
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Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Richard C. Rossi
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Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager