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Holiday Hazards

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The holiday season evokes visions of fragrant, green Christmas trees adorned with colorful, twinkling lights. Holiday decorations, though beautiful, can be dangerous. Firefighters recommend following these safety precautions to ensure your holiday is safe and enjoyable.

Christmas Trees
  • Regularly check your tree for fresh, green needles. Trees that are dried out burn faster than fresher, well-watered trees.
  • Make sure your tree stand holds at least one gallon of water. The average six-foot tree has a four-inch diameter trunk and can consume as much as four quarts or one gallon of water per day.
  • Keep your tree at least three feet from fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, heating vents and other sources of heat.
  • Don't place the tree where it blocks an exit.

  • Look for the UL Mark on light strings, electrical decorations and extension cords. The UL Mark means that UL engineers have tested representative samples of the product for foreseeable safety hazards such as fire and electric shock.
  • Ensure outside lights, decorations and extension cords are rated for outside use. Lights intended for indoor-only use bear green holographic UL Marks. Light strings intended for indoor and outdoor use have red holographic UL Marks.
  • Carefully inspect each electrical decoration - new or old - before plugging it in. Cracked sockets, frayed, bare or loose wires can cause a serious electric shock or start a fire.
  • Don't use staples or nails to hang light strings. Instead, use plastic hooks or clips designed for hanging light strings.
  • Don't overload extension cords by plugging in too many decorations.
  • Turn off all electrical lights and decorations before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for electrical decorations.

Actual MCFR Demonstration
Tree Fire Progression