Officials urge fire safety for holidays

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, November 27, 2008

One of the most noticeable celebrations of Christmas is decorating. This tradition started many years ago and has continually grown over the years. There are some people who decorate with wreaths and others who fill their yards with lights. While both show that your family celebrates Christmas, putting lights up in your yard or inside your home can be dangerous.

By adding lights or a live Christmas tree to your holiday season decorating, you increase your chance of becoming victim to a house fire.

“It is easy to forget to water a Christmas tree, and that can cause a live tree to become dry. The tree then becomes weak and can easily catch on fire,” South Chilton Fire Chief Donald Davis said.

Davis said another good way to catch your tree and house on fire would be to place wrapped presents on the power cord under the tree. These cords tend to get hot and can cause a fire.

“Space heaters should really be watched during the winter months, especially during the holidays. Many things can catch on fire if they are left within 3 feet of a heat source,” Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said.

Both chiefs said it is important to remember to use outside lights when decorating for Christmas. Every box of lights is identified as either indoor or outdoor and should only be used in that way and that way only.

Davis also said ashes from a burnt fire can stay hot almost two to three days after a fire is put out. If a person removes those ashes and places them outside in a place where the grass or brush can easily catch on fire, they could be putting themselves and their property in danger.

As the holidays get closer, remember to check your smoke detectors to make sure you are correctly warned during a fire.

– Ashley McCartney can be reached at