It's the most wonderful time of the year! Winter is right around the corner and so are the winter holidays! Before you know it, it will be time to hang up those lights, put up the tree and fill it with decorations. You and your family will fill the house with candles and lights for the holidays, which makes your house look and smell amazing! Decorating is a fun family experience, but can also be very dangerous if you're not careful. Did you know that more than half of all decoration fires in December are started by candles? We here at the River Vale Fire Department don't want your family to become a statistic, so here are a few tips to follow when decorating;​

  • Be sure to regularly water your tree.

    • Dispose of Christmas tree once it is dry. Go to the River Vale Township website to see the DPW's pick up schedule.

  • Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents.

    • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes 1 in every 4 winter fires.

    • Also, be sure that your tree does not block any exits.​

  • Closely follow the manufacturers directions when using Christmas lights.​ 

    • Closely inspect them for pinched or frayed wires. DO NOT use any damaged wires.​

  • Consider using battery operated candles; they look and feel like real candles without a real flame. ​

  • If you decide to use real candles, please be sure that they are;

    • In stable holders​,

    • out of reach for children, and

    • at least 1 foot away from anything that can burn.

  • Make sure that fireplaces/fire pits are completely extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house. ​

    • Make sure the is nothing near a lit fire place​.

    • Make sure fire pits are in a remote location in your yard and have a means of extinguishment nearby.

    • DO NOT put pine needles (dead or alive) into the fire. They burn rapidly and create a dense smoke condition. 

    • Make sure an adult is nearby when near a fire. 

  • Make sure your heating system is clean, clear of debris and working properly. If you have any doubts, call your heating company to have them service your system. 

The Officers and Firefighters of the River Vale Volunteer Fire Department wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season! We are ALWAYS on call and will respond to any emergency any time of day. Please do not hesitate to call us if there is an emergency in your home.