Preventing Holiday Decorations Increasing Fire Risk

Terre Haute fire officials say if you are setting up an artificial tree make sure you look it over first.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 11:11 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Many look at the days after Thanksgiving as an opportunity to set up holiday decorations.

Maybe it's a tradition to set up a Christmas tree on the holiday weekend. Terre Haute fire officials say if you are setting up an artificial tree make sure you look it over first.

"If you have an artificial tree make sure its made of a flame resistant material with the lighting you've had checked out with the lighting you've made sure there are no frays," Norm Loudermilk with the Terre Haute Fire Department says.

Due to wiring and candles, holiday decorations can be a high risk for fire. Officials say there are easy ways to tell if your holiday lights could be dangerous.

"Plug your lights in before you put them on your tree. Grab the strands. If it's warming up in your hands after the first few minutes you know it's going to keep warming up" Loudermilk says.

Officials say to make sure candles are on a flat level surface and cannot be knocked down. They say to not overload outlets and surge protectors by plugging in too many lights and appliances. If you're using a real Christmas tree preventing fire starts as soon as you pick it out.

"You want to pick a tree that's fresh. Not one that's been cut for a long amount of time. Look for firm needles and look for sap. The sticky stuff that's on the tree. Make sure you keep the well that the tree stump goes in make sure you keep it full of water" Loudermilk says.

Officials say to never run your lights through the night.

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