Polk County Fire Rescue Shares Tips for Safe Holidays

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (Nov. 26, 2015)– Festive lighting, windowsill candles and ornamented Christmas trees are staples of the holidays, but these decorative items also pose a fire risk if handled improperly.

Here are Polk County Fire Rescue’s tips for safe holiday decorating:

·         Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.

·         Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.

·         Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Check the packaging; some lights are only for indoor use.

·         Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

·         Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords are not damaged.

·         Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

For proper Christmas tree safety

·         Keep your tree well watered.  A dry tree can be extremely dangerous. See how flammable a dry Christmas tree can be in comparison to a well-watered tree in this demonstration by the non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA): http://bit.ly/H4ra3o.

·         Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when connecting multiple mini light sets or screw-in bulb sets. Connecting too many lights can cause electrocution or fire.

·         Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

·         Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.

·         Get rid of the tree when it is dry.

·         Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

For more holiday safety tips or cooking safety tips, including turkey fryer safety, visit www.NFPA.org. For more information on Polk County Fire Rescue visit www.polk-county.net/FireRescueRescue.

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