Holiday fire and electricity safety tips

Business & Consumer

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Fire departments across the U.S. respond to an average of 160 home fires per year, that started with a family Christmas tree.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, almost half of those Christmas tree fires were caused by poor electrical and lighting equipment.

“You want to be sure you don’t overload a plug. We have power strips with the switch that kids can participate in if they want to light the Christmas tree,” Beretta Craft-Coffman at JMS Burn Center said. “But you definitely don’t want to have children plugging the Christmas tree into the actual electrical socket.”

Always check your cords to make sure they have not frayed.

“That’s when people actually become electrocuted by a damaged electrical cord,” Craft-Coffman said.

It’s also important to only hang Christmas lights where they were designed to be used. The color on the tag indicates where you can put the lights.

“They’re green for indoor lighting, and they’re red for outdoor lighting,” Craft-Coffman said.

Secure strands of lights with plastic hooks. Do not use metal nails, because you could be electrocuted.

“We’ve seen patients that come to us with injuries secondary to hanging lights, that are actually bright like this Christmas tree is, and will be electrocuted by the metal nail,” Craft-Coffman said.

If you have a live Christmas tree, be sure to keep it well hydrated.

“A dry Christmas tree can be like a block of cinder,” Craft-Coffman said. “It can ignite very rapidly”

Of course, when leaving the house or going to bed, always be sure to unplug the Christmas tree and blow out any candles.

For the full list of Christmas fire and electricity safety tips, see below or CLICK HERE.

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