2017-12-27 / Front Page

Post-Holiday Fire Prevention Tips For A Happy 2018

By Liz Goff
The holiday shopping and gift-giving frenzy is almost over, and most folks are gearing up for traditional New Years Eve celebrations that feature family, friends, food and drink, and a day-after football marathon.

The risk of home fires increases as the holiday season comes to an end, and needles from dry Christmas trees brittle, fire prevention experts said.

Officials at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have released 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
  • Be sure to properly store wrapping paper, metallic and fabric bows, tinsel bows and other holiday trimmings in a fireproof container – away from cleaning materials and automotive repair and maintenance materials

Latest available statistics revealed that between 2013 and 2014, holiday lights and decorative lighting were the cause of nearly 200 home fires, seven civilian deaths, 18 fire- related injuries, and were responsible for more than $10 million in fire-related property damage, authorities said.

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



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