Holiday lights and other decorative lighting caused an average of one hundred and seventy residential fires each year. Holiday trees, lights, ornaments, candles, and fireplaces create additional hazards within the home. Although these fires are uncommon, when they occur, they are very dangerous. Every year many individuals are injured or killed by improperly installed or damaged holiday decorations.
During any holiday, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure a fire safe holiday. When purchasing a natural tree, make sure the tree is fresh; do not purchase one that is dry. To test if a tree is dry, bend the needles; if the needle breaks it is dry. If the needles bend, it is fresh. Also ask if the tree’s trunk can be cut off by one or two inches. When home place the tree in a stable holder, and fill the holder with water. Check the holder every day for water; if the water is low, fill the tree holder with water. Keeping the tree away from sources of heat will prevent the tree from drying out. When using tree lights inspect them carefully, new or old for any damage; make sure they are certified and properly connected to a timer. After the holiday, remove the tree as soon as possible.
When using any electrical decorations, use only certified flame resistance decorations. Check wiring on all your electrical decorations before displaying them. Try to avoid using extension cords, and place all electrical decorations on timers to conserve energy and avoid overheating.