Seasonal Fire Safety Tips

Fireworks Safety

  • The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public fireworks displays put on by professionals who know how to safely handle fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
  • Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
  • Always read the directions and warning labels on fireworks. If a device is not marked with the contents, direction, and a warning label, do not light it.
  • Supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Please review "New Fireworks Regulations Brochure", distributed in 2018 with the passing of new law. The sale and use of "consumer" fireworks was made legal throughout Pennsylvania.
No one can use fireworks on any property without the owner's permission; this includes all Township property. Permits must be obtained for display fireworks.

Barbecue Safety

  • Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
  • Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

Campfire Safety

  • Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
  • Never leave campfires unattended.

Thanksgiving Safety

Christmas Tree Safety

  • When selecting a live Christmas tree, choose one with green needles that should not break.  The trunk should be sticky to the touch.

  • Don’t have live Christmas trees up for longer than two weeks. Place trees away from heat sources including fire places and heating vents. Heat can dry trees, making them more flammable. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.  Discard dry trees promptly.  Cheltenham Township’s used Christmas tree collections are available on selected dates in January and early February.

  • Ensure Christmas tree and other holiday decorations don’t block exits.

Holiday Lighting Safety

  • Indoor lights should be inspected for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets and excessive kinking before putting them up. If damaged, discard them.

  • Turn off or unplug all decorative lighting before going to bed or leaving the house.

  • Lights used outdoors should be approved for outdoor use. All lights and any electrical cords and appliances, whether indoor or outdoor, should be UL listed.

  • Run all outdoor cords above ground, keeping them out of puddles and snow.

  • Do not overload electrical outlets. Don’t link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it’s safe. Use surge protection power strips rather than relying on many extension cords to connect holiday lights, whether indoors or outdoors. Connect light strands to an extension cord before plugging the cord into an outlet.

Holiday Decorations Safety

  • Use only nonflammable or flame-retardant decorations, and keep them away from sources of heat and from any source of flame (stoves, heaters, fireplaces, candles, etc.).

  • Avoid using lit candles; consider using battery-operated, flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.  If you do use candles, make sure they are in stable holders and located where they cannot be easily knocked down.  Do not place candles on top of or next to paper, books, curtains or any other easily ignitable articles.  Never leave candles burning where children or pets are not supervised.  Never leave the house or go to sleep with candles burning.

Additional Winter Fire Safety Tips

Consider giving and installing the gifts that continue to save lives - give smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke detectors are recommended on every level of the home and in every bedroom. For more fire safety information, contact the Cheltenham Fire Marshal at 215-887-6200, ext. 235.



Contact Us

Scott P. Lynch
Fire Marshal, Director of Building & Codes
Township Administration Building
8230 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027
room Get Directions

Phone: 215-887-1000 ext. 235
Phone: For all fire emergencies, call 9-1-1