Profitt Report: Holiday fire hazards you can prevent this season

Photo credit: MGN

Some of the most beautiful part of the holidays can be the most dangerous. Candles, heat sources and dry Christmas trees all cause fires and sometimes deaths this time of year.

National Fire Protection Association said 840 fires between the years 2011 and 2015 were a result of holiday decorations. These can be easily prevented with a little attention to detail.

“Real trees that are dry could be a fire hazard,” said Saginaw Fire Marshall Ralph Martin, “keep an eye on that real tree make sure it's been watered daily.”

Martin also said, your cat or pup might confusing your tree’s water basin for their water dish, drying out your tree prematurely.

He also recommends LED bulbs, as they aren’t as hot as old school bulbs. Candles are another holiday staple but the NFPA said they start more than one third of home decoration fires.

“Make sure they're not near decorations,” Martin said, “extinguish all candles when… leaving the home and going to bed at night.”

Space heaters are cozy way to stay warm but they cause two out of every five home heating fires according to the NFPA.

“Making sure you have a space heater that's UL tested or UL listed space heater that can turn itself off if it's knocked over,” Martin said.

That UL, or underwriters laboratories, is a certification company. You’ll see their stamp on the back of smoke alarms too.

“Test them (smoke alarms), make sure all smoke detectors are in proper working order,” he said.

Make a plan now, Martin said, before an emergency.

“Make sure there's an exit to your back so if you're not successful in extinguishing the fire, you're able to exit the house immediately,” Martin said.

You’ll also want to pay attention to your power strips. Don’t overload them and never plug a space heater into a strip.

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