2015-12-23 / Front Page

Tips To Prevent Post-Holiday Fires

By Liz Goff

The risk of home fires increases as the holiday season comes to an end, when Christmas trees dry up and needles turn brittle, fire officials said.

Officials at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are offering the following tips to help prevent post-holiday blazes:

  • Recycle Christmas trees before they become dry, unsightly and potentially flammable
  • When unplugging holiday lights, make sure to pull them from the base of the plug. DO NOT yank the cord out of the socket, because that can cause electrical shock or fire
  • Be sure to discard all broken lights
  • Store electrical decorations in a safe, dry place where they cannot be damaged by water – and make sure to store them out of the reach of children and pets

Between 2009 and 2014,holiday lights and decorative lighting were the cause of 150 home fires, eight civilian deaths and 14 related injuries and were responsible for $8.5 million in fire-related property damage, authorities said.

“It’s not uncommon to see people keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” an NFPA spokesperson said.

“The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards, both in and outside the home.”


                                                                                                -Liz Goff 

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