Christmas Safety Tips from the Arlington Fire Department

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It is fun to decorate for the winter holidays, but holiday decorations can increase your risk for a home fire. As you deck the halls this season, be fire smart.

Nearly half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. The Arlington Fire Department has listed some important tips from the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association.

Holiday Lights

  • Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away light strands with frayed or pinched wires.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.

Christmas Trees

  • 1 of every 3 home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.
  • Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, 1 of every 31 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 144 total reported home fires.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes 1 in every 4 of Christmas tree fires.  Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from heat sources.
  • Make sure your tree does not block exit pathways.

Candles

  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.  The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.
  • One-third of all candle fires start in the bedroom.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down easily.

The Arlington Fire Department hopes you have a safe and merry holiday season.  Follow ArlingtonTX Fire on Facebook and Twitter for more fire and life safety messages.