Seasonal Tips


Halloween Safety Tips

  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  • Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Secure emergency identification (name, address, phone number) discreetly within Halloween attire or on a bracelet.
  • When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories, purchase only those with a label indicating they are flame resistant.

  • Because a mask can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic and hypoallergenic makeup or a decorative hat as a safe alternative.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without consulting a qualified eye care professional.
  • Think twice before using simulated knives, guns or swords. If such props must be used, be certain they do not appear authentic and are soft and flexible to prevent injury.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries and glow sticks for all children and their escorts.
  • Avoid Halloween related fires by using only battery powered lamps or chemical glow sticks in decorations and costumes.
  • This is also a great time to buy fresh batteries for your home Smoke Alarms.
  • Teach children their home phone number and to how call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.
  • Review with your children the principle of "Stop-Drop-Roll", should their clothes catch on fire.
  • Openly discuss appropriate and inappropriate behavior at Halloween time.
  • Consider purchasing individually packaged healthy food alternatives (or safe non-food treats) for those who visit your home.
  • Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway. Check your property for flower pots, low tree limbs, support wires or garden hoses that may prove hazardous to young children rushing from house to house.
  • Plan now to protect your pets from frightful sights, sounds and hazards.
  • Learn or review CPR skills to aid someone who is choking or having a heart attack.
  • Consider safe party guidelines when hosting an adult or office party.

Think of unique ways you can safely share the fun in your neighborhood!


  • Find a special event or start one in your own neighborhood.
  • Community centers, shopping malls and houses of worship may have organized festivities.
  • Share the fun by arranging a visit to a retirement home or senior center.
  • Create an alliance with college fraternities, sororities or service clubs for children's face painting or a carnival.

Winter Holidays Safety Tips


Every year, the Ventura City Fire Department responds to tragic incidents where people suffer injuries, burns, and even death due to carelessness with holiday decorations.

Trees, lights, ornaments, and fireplaces produce extra hazards in your home at a time when hectic activity distracts your attention from fire safety.

Once a tree is ignited it only takes seconds to fully engulf a room, but steps can be taken to keep your holiday a safe and happy one.

This holiday season brings along unique problems that are not found any other time of year. So here are some tips for a safe holiday season.




  • Try to select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green. The needles of pines and spruces should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off the branches. On fir species,  a needle pulled from a fresh tree will snap when bent, much like a freshcarrot. Also, look for a trunk sticky with sap.
  • Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant.
  • Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the UnderwritersLaboratory (UL) label.



Fresh, well-watered Christmas trees do not represent a fire hazard. Trees that are dried out, however, do.

  • After selecting a tree, it is recommended that you soak the trunk in a container for 24 hours and then put the tree in its water base stand.
  • It is important that the tree always be kept watered and not allowed to dry out. Be sure to keep the water level above the base of the tree.
  • You can add some citric or lemon-lime soda to the water. This provides sugar for food and preservatives which can help your tree last longer.

You can view a video on the importance of watering your Christmas tree here:



The location of your tree is very important.

  • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources.
  • Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.



  • Only use indoor lights inside and outdoor lights only outdoors.
  • Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
  • Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
  • Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.



  • Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places.
  • Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments orones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.



  • Never place lighted candles on a tree or near any flammable materials.
  • If you are using candles for other decoration around the home, keep them out of reach children.
  • Place them in a secure candle holder.
  • Always extinguish candles before you go to bed.

Other Holiday Safety Tips

A real tree can add to the spirit of the holidays by filling your home with beauty and the scent of pine. But a real tree can also pose a fire hazard. Each year, more than 400 residential fires involve Christmas trees and tragically
nearly 40 deaths and 100 injuries result from those fires. Here are some moretips for you that can minimize the threat
of tragedy this holiday season.

  • Check your smoke detectors! Make sure they are working and test them at least once a week.
  • Never burn wrapping paper or your tree in the fire place or wood burning stove, an unsuspecting person can be severely burned or perhaps cause a chimney fire.
  • Christmas trees are generally removed one or two weeks after the holidays. However, they should be removed from the house if a number of needles begin to fall.
  • Remember a Christmas tree can engulf a living room in less than 30 seconds! If a tree should catch fire in the house, do not attempt to move it outside. Get everyone out and use a neighbors phone to call 911.

 Fourth of July

Celebrate responsibly and safely.  Fireworks are dangerous and are illegal in the city of Ventura.


The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at an official, approved fireworks show.

All it takes is one spark to start a fire, especially during drought conditions.
There is a $424 fine for use or possession of fireworks; possession of larger amounts of fireworks may result in a felony charge.  Fireworks purchased over the internet are illegal (not just in Ventura but throughout the state).

"Safe and sane" fireworks are neither safe, nor sane.  Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or throw off showers of hot sparks; sparklers for instance burn at temperatures of approximately two thousand degrees F compared to a burning book of matches at seven hundred degrees F.