Image of battery candles surrounded by holiday decorations
Winter Holiday Safety

Friends, family and festivities! These are some of the first things that come to mind when we think of the winter holiday season. What most of us don’t consider is that the holidays also pose an increased threat of home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in the U.S. between 2011-2015, one of every 32 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported fires. Whether the fire starts with cooking, a Christmas tree, decorations, or candles, most can be avoided by taking some preventative measures.


Unattended cooking is still the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home injuries. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, boiling or broiling your holiday (actually all) meals. Set a timer when baking or roasting food. Maintain a three-foot “kid-free” zone around any area where hot foods or drinks are prepared.


December is the peak month for candle fires. More than half of all candle fires start because the candles have been placed too close to things that could catch fire. Battery operated candles are the best, but if you are burning candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn. Never leave lit candles unattended. Always use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over and are placed in an uncluttered environment.

Christmas Trees:

Christmas tree fires can be fatal. Never use lit candles to decorate your tree. Use lights that have a label of a recognized testing laboratory and follow manufacturers recommendations for number of strands to connect. Always turn off tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed. If your tree is artificial, assure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant. If your tree is fresh, water it daily. Keep all trees well away from any heat source, including fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents and lights. Never block an exit with your tree.

For fore information on holiday fire safety, visit NFPA


Fire Extinguisher Recall

More than 40 million Kidde brand fire extinguishers, some on the market for more than four decades, are being recalled because they may not work in an emergency.

Photo of Fire Extinguishers

The recall covers 134 models of push-button and plastic-handle extinguishers in the U.S. and Canada made from 1973 through Aug. 15 of this year. It includes models that were previously recalled in March of 2009 and February of 2015, the commission said Thursday.

Owners should contact Kidde to ask for a free replacement and for instructions on how to return recalled models. Kidde can be reached at (855) 271-0773 or at

For more details please visit the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's web page.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Safety

We often emphasize the significance of working smoke alarms, but of similar importance is carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. According to national statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, CO kills more than 500 people and accounts for an estimated 20,000 emergency department visits annually in the United States. 

CO, often referred to as the "silent killer", is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by incomplete burning of common household fuels such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, and oil. Symptoms of CO poisoning often present as the flu, food poisoning, or other illnesses. Shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea are just a few of the most common symptoms. If not detected, high levels of CO can lead to death within minutes. 

Fortunately, early discovery is possible with proper placement of working and maintained CO detectors. In residential dwellings, place a CO detector outside of each sleeping area and on every level of the residence. Regular maintenance includes testing your CO detector monthly by pressing the test button and changing the batteries at least once per year. 

For the safety of your family, follow these simple CO safety tips: 

 - Never run a vehicle or other fueled motor inside your garage, even if the doors are open. Move the vehicle outside as soon as you've started the engine. 
 - Only use generators in well-ventilated, outdoor locations that are away from any residence openings, including windows, doors, and vents. 
 - Never use a BBQ, gas or charcoal, inside. 
 - In inclement weather, keep all vents (fireplace, stove, dryer, furnace) clear of debris such as snow, leaves and branches, and storm build-up. 

If your CO detector sounds, immediately evacuate to a safe location outside and call 9-1-1. 


Bellevue Fire Department Patch


450 110th Avenue NEP.O. Box 90012 Bellevue, WA 98009



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