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.