BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff Manor Fire Chief Mike King is hoping he and his fellow volunteers don’t need to answer any calls this holiday season. But King said he and the members of the Briarcliff Manor Volunteer Fire Department will be ready just in case.
The department handles dozens of calls during the holiday season, but the village has been largely without incident during the last few years, King said. With trees, fireplaces and holiday feasts, he said residents can do several things to make sure they have a safe holiday season.
“We get chimney fires and the occasional cooking fire and we had some pretty big fires a number of years ago, but we haven’t had anything big, luckily, in the last few years,” King said. “I think people here have become more aware of the dangers. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy and ready to go just in case and don’t hesitate to call 911 if there is a problem because we’ll be there to solve it.”
Briarcliff Manor Village Manager Philip Zegarelli is also asking residents with Christmas trees to be cautious.
“For anyone who has a tree, you need to be sure it has water,” Zegarelli said. “It can dry up pretty quick, especially if you leave the lights on. So never leave the lights on overnight or on if you’re leaving the house.”
Residents with small pets should also be careful and check electrical cords frequently, he said.
“I know it sounds crazy, but younger pets in particular have been known to chew on wires and it can cause big problems,” he said. “Frayed wires could cause a short, and it’s those type of things that you don’t look at that end up being the problem.”
King offered several tips to Briarcliff Manor residents for the holiday season:
- Do not overload outlets and be sure to check electrical wiring frequently.
- Always blow out all candles and turn off all holiday lights before leaving the home or going to sleep.
- Do not hang dish towels over the stove when cooking.
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen at all times and double-check that it has not passed its expiration date.
- Check batteries in fire alarms and CO2 alarms before cooking.
- Call 911 if there is an uncontrolled fire.