Safeguard Your Holiday Home From Fire

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – ‘Tis the season for bright lights, holiday cheer and of course – Christmas trees.

Unfortunately, fire risks abound, threatening to ruin all the fun, or worse yet – cause harm.

Thus please forgive our Grinch ways, but it’s all in good will that we share the following common causes of home fires during the holiday season.

Fire-starting facts from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment are involved in thirty-five percent of home tree fires.
  • Twenty percent of decoration fires start in the kitchen
  • One out of every six decoration fire started in the living room, family room, or den.
  • The top three days for home candle fires include Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.
  • Although uncommon, when tree fires do occur, they are more likely to be serious.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly ONE in EVERY FOUR of the fires.
  • Want to know how you can be fire smart this season? Take note of these fire safety tips from the NFPA:
  • When picking the tree, choose one with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in its stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.

Tips from the NFPA

  • Make sure the tree is at least 3’ away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking any exits.
  • Add water to the tree stand – be sure to add water daily!
  • When lighting the tree, use lights are listed by a qualified testing lab – some lights are designated for only indoor or outdoor use so double check.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections.
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Absolutely never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off the tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Once the tree is dry, it is time to discard it! Dry trees are an extreme fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.

For additional fire safety tips for the holidays and in your daily routine, visit the NFPA at nfpa.org and the State Fire Marshal’s Office at tdi.texas.gov/fire.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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