Holiday decorating dangers

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

"Wintertime, we see an upswing in fires," said Fire Marshal Eric Simmons, "with the Jonesboro Fire Department."

Simmons says there are things you can do to help avoid dangerous disasters during the holidays.

"If you have a real tree, just be sure that you have it in some water.  Be sure that you've checked the water daily," said Simmons.

Simmons says a dry and brittle tree will burn quickly.  Also, make sure the lights you put on that tree are in good shape.

Be sure that you don't use too many strands put together.   A lot of people like to put a whole lot of them together.   Try to keep it below three," said Simmons.

Simmons also says examine the wires before decorating; a frayed wire could be a fire hazard.

"All that heat is coming out, so it's going to go somewhere. Whatever it's wrapped around, whatever it's put against, is where that heat's actually going to go," said Simmons.

While the decorations do take time, and you want people to enjoy them, don't leave the lights on when no one's home.  That brings us to a list of other safety tips including:

-Avoid using candles, but if you do, make sure they're not near anything, and that they're on a sturdy surface.

-Don't overload extension cords or outlets.

-Use clips to hang lights instead of nails.

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