Preventing Christmas tree, holiday decoration fires

News
February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — To get into the holiday spirit many are putting up their Christmas tree and decorations. But those holiday decorations can cause a fire if simple safety precautions aren’t taken. 

“December is our busiest month for structure fires on average we get 100 structure fires across the city of Fresno in the month of December,” said Shane Brown, Public information officer with Fresno Fire. 

Brown said two out of every five fires is caused by a decoration being placed too close to a heat source, which includes space heaters, fireplaces and candles.

“And you know once that fire starts it’s releasing BTUs into that room an everything else starts to superheat as well, so a minimum of three feet away from any heat source from any type of decoration,” Brown explained. 

That also applies to Christmas trees, especially a real one.

Brown recommends keeping it away from heat sources and to water it frequently to prevent it from drying out. 

“As soon as it dries out those pine needles are highly flammable it’s really quick for that tree to take off,” Brown said. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas lights or electrical distribution was involved in 44% of home fires. 

Brown recommends inspecting your Christmas lights before putting them up. 

“Take some time to look through the string of lights make sure there are no cracks or breaks in the insulation for the electrical wiring because electricity passing through this thing is heat and heat will generate fires,” Brown added. 

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