Local News

Make Sure Your Christmas Tree Glows Without Going Up In Smoke

Posted December 10, 2000

— A traditional holiday decoration can also be a fire hazard. That is why it is important to put safety first when caring for your Christmas tree.

In the Staples household, Christmas decorations go all the way. Inside and out, hundreds of bulbs light up the house -- not to mention the bows and the homemade angels. However, all of the decorations come after hours and hours of checking them for safety.

"We go through all of them. We threw several strings away this year and replaced them with new ones," says homeowner Jeanne Staples.

Last weekend, a fire in the Staples neighborhood served as a wake-up call. Infant twins were injured in their house by an electric fire sparked by the family's Christmas tree.

Deputy Fire Marshal Chris Morey says you can prevent the same thing from happening to you and your family by taking some extra precautions.

"With alive Christmas tree, you need to make sure you keep it watered. You keep it away from sources such as a heat vent," he says.

Morey also advises you useUL-approvedlights and decorations, and make sure you do not overload extension cords.

It is advice Staples lives by year after year.

"Strings of lights are so cheap nowadays that you can replace them, but you can't replace a life that's taken," she says.

Here are some other safety tips to keep in mind:

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commissionsays use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Never leave lights unattended
  • If you have an artificial or metallic tree, make sure it is flame retardant

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