Learn Tips To Prevent Holiday Tree Fires

Before starting to decorate your house with Christmas decorations, we have some tips to prevent any holiday tree fires.

Last year the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated 13, 000 people were treated at hospitals for holiday-related injures, which is more than in 2009.

Experts said where you put your tree is just as important as what you put on it.

Placing it directly in front of a floor or ceiling heating vent could cause your tree and your holiday to go up in smoke.

Holiday lights can add a twinkle of color to any tree, but it’s important to make sure that flicker doesn’t spark a fire.

Investigators said that’s what happened at a home on Church Street in Beloit.

“The fire started in the tree, and we believe it was electrical in nature,” said Brad Liggett, Beloit Fire Department chief.

No one was hurt, but Saturday?s fire caused more than $30,000 in damage.

Ligget said real trees can be more dangerous than artificial trees due to their tendency to dry out.

“If the tree is dry, it’s going to ignite pretty easily and sustain combustion at a pretty high rate. If it’s wet it’s less likely to catch on fire,” said Ligget.

He also suggests carefully inspecting your lights to make sure there are not any broken bulbs or bad wires.

?You also want to make sure the plug doesn’t have any discoloration on the brass ends,? said Phyllis Fry, Dave?s Ace Hardware store manager.

Fry said a tarnished plug could mean the lights have been damaged.

She says it’s also important to follow the box and instructions, especially if you plan to mix and match.

Each type of light is going to tell you how many strings of lights you can safely string together, said Fry.

Liggett said reading the instructions on the box and paying attention to the UL tag on the your holiday lights could help you extinguish a problem before it starts.

“It’s really important to follow those manufacturers’ recommendations, ’cause if you do overload the lights, that can over heat the cord. The cord can melt and then cause a fire,” said Ligget.

The fire chief said overloaded outlets are another culprit of tree fires, but that’s an easy fix.

Fry said manufacturers make extension cords specifically designed to be used with Christmas lights.