Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season. Unfortunately, these same decorations may increase your chances of fire.
Following a few simple fire safety tips can keep electric lights, candles and the ever popular Christmas tree from creating a tragedy.
• Don't put your live Christmas tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks.
• Place trees away from heat sources, including fireplaces or heat vents. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks.
• Keep the live tree stand filled with water at all times.
• Use only nonflammable decorations.
• Don't link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it's safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet.
• Avoid using lit candles; consider using battery-operated flame-less candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles
• Ensure that Christmas trees and other holiday decorations don't block an exit way.
For more tips on how to prevent a holiday fire and what to do in case a fire starts in your home, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website at www.usfa.fema.gov.
Colorado River Fire Rescue
Editor's note: Due to an editing and production error in the Dec. 13 Citizen Telegram, the author of this letter was omitted. This letter was originally sent to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Thank you for your response to my concern over the problem of illegal immigrants. A bipartisan solution is important for the well-being of the country.
I favor a regulated guest worker program, after making it less inviting for illegals to come here by levying heavy fines to employers who hire without proper documentation. Without jobs, the incentive to invade us will be less compelling.
Spending by the federal government must be reduced and can only be accomplished by eliminating some federal agencies.
You are an experienced educator. I am sure you can see the logic in returning all authority for running our schools to local school boards, with oversight by state officials. This is how it was before legislation created the U.S. Department of Education. Please work for the elimination of this department over a few years.
We need a good energy policy that includes all sources, green and conventional. Coal, natural gas, nuclear and hydro must be a primary source for many years, until technology develops for other resources to become competitive. We don't need a U.S. Department of Energy, except for research and advice.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration should be drastically reduced in size and the federal gas tax eliminated. Most of its responsibilities consist of gathering gas tax money from the states and passing it back to the states, spending several billions of dollars in the process.
This department should focus on research and advice, along with other minor functions within the U.S. Department of Transportation. States would have the ability to raise their gas tax to make up for lost revenue.