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Take Caution With Christmas Lights

December 21, 2017

With Christmas right around the corner, holiday decorations are lighting up houses across the nation. But without careful management of your Christmas lights, your house could *literally* light up.

A recent report of an electrical fire in Mahwah, New Jersey stated that improperly secured extension cords were the cause of the fire that burned down the family’s home. Simple precautions could have been taken to prevent this fire and many other fires caused during the holiday season...

When using lights on or near a tree, make sure that no cords are frayed or pinched. These exposure points are easy targets for a fire. Even if your wires are properly maintained, there is still a risk of fire. Never leave lights on unattended; turn them off when sleeping or leaving the house.

Candles are another common decoration with a high fire risk. Battery-operated, flameless candles are recommended, as there is no flame to start a fire. If you are using regular candles, there are precautions that should be taken to minimize risk. Like with tree lights, never leave a candle unattended. Blow it out so the fire is not at risk of spreading. Candles should also always be left at least 12 inches away from any flammable material, to prevent the flame from jumping to the adjacent material. This can be further prevented by placing candles in a sturdy candleholder that won’t tip over if accidentally bumped.

We also need to take precautions with the tree itself to reduce the risk of the tree catching on fire. Watering the tree every day is a must; watered trees are full of moisture, whereas dry trees do not have moisture to act as a shield for a fire threat.

Christmas fires can be easily prevented as long as you stay safe and follow the precautions above. By taking simple measures to ensure the safety of your home, you can have a worry-free happy holiday!