Tips for a Safe Winter/Holiday Season

December 10th, 2018



Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

For Immediate Release

December 7, 2018


Tips for a safe winter/holiday season

Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team urges proper ash disposal and holiday decorating

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.  – Winter has arrived in the Lake Tahoe Basin along with the holiday season.  Local fire districts and their partners would like to take this opportunity to remind residents and visitors to properly dispose of fireplace/woodstove ashes and to use caution when decorating for the holiday.  The following safety tips are recommended by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to help keep your home safe this winter/holiday season.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

The winter season typically means building a cozy fire to keep your home warm, but there are risks associated with fireplaces/woodstoves.  According to NFPA, fire departments in the U.S. respond to an estimated average of 54,030 structure fires per year that involve heating equipment including fireplaces/woodstoves.1

Older woodstoves or fireplaces, should be upgraded with a more efficient heat source that can also help improve Lake Tahoe’s air and water quality.  Newer wood stoves are Environmental Protection Agency compliant and have catalytic converters that remove particulates from smoke before emission.  Similarly, natural gas stoves/fireplaces emit significantly less pollutants.  Rebates may be available to help with replacement of inefficient woodstoves/fireplaces.  More information available at

Holiday Decorating and Entertaining

Decorating for the holidays is a tradition in homes all over the world, but be sure to decorate safely.  According to NFPA, Christmas trees and holiday decorations account for over 1,000 structure fires every year.3

For more home safety tips, visit

1Richard Campbell. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment. December 2017.

2Underwriters Laboratories, an organization that has been in existence for more than a century and is a world leader in product safety testing and certification. Visit for more information.

3Mary Ahrens. NFPA's Home Structure Fires Involving Christmas Trees. November 2017.

About the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team

The Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team (TFFT) consists of representatives of Tahoe Basin fire agencies, CAL FIRE, Nevada Division of Forestry and related state agencies, University of California and Nevada Cooperative Extensions, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, conservation districts from both states, the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. Our Mission is to protect lives, property and the environment within the Lake Tahoe Basin from wildfire by implementing prioritized fuels reduction projects and engaging the public in becoming a Fire Adapted Community.

TFFT Final PR Ash Cans Holiday Decorations Dec-2018