Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together, but it also provides a greater risk for fire, according to McKinney Fire Department officials.
Fire officials said two of every five home holiday decoration fires are started by candles, urging families to keep children and pets away from lit candles; and keep candles away from decorations or anything that can burn. MFD also urges residents to blow out lit candles when you leave a room.
Most holiday lights are designated only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both, fire officials said. Be to use the appropriate lighting and never use lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. For extra safety, turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving the home, including lights on your holiday tree.
“Fires starting with holiday trees aren’t common; but, when they occur, they are more likely to be serious,” said Stacie Durham, MFD spokesperson. “Most of these types of fires are caused by electrical problems with tree lights, or by a heat source too close to the tree.
Special considerations for your tree include using only lights recommended which have the label of a recognized testing laboratory, such as UL. Follow all manufacturer’s instructions for how many light strands to connect. Make sure your tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, candles, heat vents or lights. Never place a tree where it may block an exit.
For additional holiday safety tips visit www.mckinneyfire.org.