We know it’s hard to believe, but the holidays have snuck up rather quickly this year. We’re hopeful that we can put the immense amount of change and stress from this year behind us (if at least for a moment) and safely enjoy decorating for the holidays and cozying up at home with our loved ones.
We’ve pulled together our expert tips, tricks, and safety reminders below for staying safe this holiday season.
Cutting Down Your Own Christmas Tree
Cutting Your Own
One of the longtime favorite traditions for many residents of the valley is to gather the family and head out to the forest to cut down a Christmas tree. As the snow starts falling and the holiday season is fast approaching, we want to remind you that permits are required and will be available through the Forest Service. The cost of a permit is $10 with a limit of 5 permits per person. Information regarding permits for White River National Forest is available here.
Know Before You Go!
The Forest Service asks that you try to not cut single trees, but to select one from a group of trees, this will help to promote speedy growth for future forests. Be sure to check where Christmas Tree cutting is prohibited and avoid cutting Colorado Blue Spruce trees.
To cut your tree, please make sure that you cut your tree as close to the ground as possible and never cut the top off of large trees. Once you have found your winning tree and have safely cut it down, attach your permit to the base before transport.
Pro Tip! The best tool for cutting your tree is actually a small camp saw.
For more information, rules, and regulations regarding Christmas Tree cutting please click here.
Heating Your Home
The warm days of summer are behind us as we head into another winter in the Roaring Fork Valley. As you begin pulling out the down comforters, house slippers, and space heaters, take a look at our safety reminders below.
Always remember to keep your space heaters at least 3 feet away from all flammable objects and to turn them off when you are leaving the room or going to bed.
Check to see if your heating device has an automatic shut off in case the heater gets knocked (or tips) over.
It’s important to plug only one heating appliance into an electrical outlet at a time and avoid using extension cords.
Don’t use your oven or stovetop to heat your home!
Wood Stoves + Chimneys
Make sure to have your wood stoves and chimneys cleaned and inspected yearly.
If you are using a fireplace, keep a glass or metal screen in front to prevent sparks from getting out. Always make sure to put the fire completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
Have a safe place to dispose of the ashes – preferably in a metal container and 3 feet away from your home.
Carbon Monoxide Safety
Install and test your carbon monoxide detectors regularly, especially if you use a wood-burning stove or propane.
You should have your CO detectors installed on every level of your home or near your sleeping areas.
For more information on CO detectors, read our October blog here.
Safely Decorate Your Home
Deck the halls with seasonal decorations, wreaths, and lights! It’s always a treat when we get to light up our homes for the holidays, but we encourage you to take the extra time this season to set up your decorations properly to avoid any hazards.
- Take a look at your lights and check for frayed wires or damaged strands. Replace any missing bulbs.
- Do not use tacks or nails on the electrical cord when hanging lights. We recommend using clips to attach to the house or walls.
- Double-check that your extension cords are for outdoor use and that they are heavy duty.
- Indoor lights should be kept away from curtains, furniture, or carpeting to minimize the risk of sparks catching fire.
- Be conscious of where you are placing your cords and decorations to avoid trips and falls.
- Make sure that if you do have a tree, keep it away from your stove, fire, or space heaters.
From your friends at the Carbondale Fire District, we wish you the happiest and healthiest holiday season! We hope that these safety tips and reminders will help to keep you and your loved ones safe this year. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at any time.