Fire Department urges safety during holiday season

Posted by: Daniel Curtis - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) – During the holidays whether you're hanging lights or putting up a Christmas tree, fire safety may not be our first thoughts.

However, fire departments are reminding everyone to use caution to prevent potential dangers.

Holly Branch Farms in Dothan has been selling Christmas trees for more than 20 years and when it comes to real tree's they say freshness counts.

"First thing put it securely in the stand then start it off with hot tap water and that just helps absorb the water and makes sure the tree water throughout the rest of the year," says Tylor Johnson.

And when putting the tree up in your house keep it away from heat sources.

"You want to keep them away from all your heat sources, obviously if you have a real fireplace don't put it near their cause sparks could come out," adds Johnson.

And those heat sources can also cause their own problems.

"First and foremost the most common problem is space heaters," says Capt. Chris Etheredge of the Dothan Fire Department.

Etheredge says following some simple tips could make all the difference when it comes to safety.

Make sure there is proper clearance around your portable heater, at least 48 inches.

Unplug it when you're not using it, and try buying one that's been testing, groups like Underwriter Laboratories is a reputable tester.

"Look for that UL listing and make sure that they have tip over safeties. all the current equipment out there is it were to be bumped over face down on to carpeted surface if you will, it will automatically shut off and it reduces that chance of fire," says Etheredge.

On average Christmas trees are involved in 400 fires, resulting in almost $17 million in property loss and damage.

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