Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Many Hazards of Christmas

      The dangers of fire at Christmas is nothing to make light of in reality. However, sometimes one reads things that simply present themselves quite innocently and can not help but wonder at the irony of it all. Had the Chief Deputy known what we know today, he might have flipped his lid after some degree of reflection.

This ad first appeared in
The Alliance Herald
in Butte County, Neb.,
December 12, 1912
 Help To Stop The Holiday Fires, 1912

      Christmas will soon be celebrated by the people of this state and the Christmas tree and public entertainments in crowded churches and halls and homes will be used to embellish the occasion.
      In order that nothing will occur to mar the occasion and cause a Life Time of Regrets, I earnestly urge those having these matters in charge to observe the following rules:
      Do not decorate your Christmas tree with paper, cotton, celluloid or any other inflammable material. Use metallic tinsel and other non-flammable decorations only, and set the tree securely so that it cannot tip over. Do not use cotton to represent snow; if you must have snow use asbestos fiber.
      If there is any other possible way to light the tree do not use candles. The tree itself is very inflammable and will burn when the needles become dry. Where electric lights can be obtained small bulbs of different colors can be strung around over the tree but this work should only be done by some one thoroughly understanding electricity. Large lamps with reflectors so arranged as to throw the light on the tree will give the tree a beautiful appearance and will not endanger the lives of those in attendance. Do not permit Santa Clause to wear an inflammable beard or wig. Usually the presents that are placed upon the Christmas trees are done up in tissue paper that is very inflammable and Flaxen Haired Dolls and Teddy Bears and such presents inflammable and a spark from one of the little candles is liable to start a fire and there is always some one present ready to scream and yell "FIRE", and the the trouble takes place: a rush is made for the door and there are enough grown people in the audience to trample the life out of the little children who are present and who are filled with expectancy at receiving the gifts that are on the tree but instead of receiving a present they are liable to receive either painful or fatal injuries and an occasion of merriment will be turned into mourning. All aisles and exits should be kept absolutely clear so that if an accident should happen all of the occupants can retire from the building quickly and uninjured.
      I hope the bulletins I have issued have implanted in the minds of those who will have these entertainments in charge a determination to prevent injury and loss of life of all those who attend these Christmas entertainments. 

Very truly yours, 
C. A. Randall, 

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