Decorating safety for the Holiday Season from the Hickory Fire Department

Hickory, NC (December 2, 2021) — The holiday season is officially upon us.  While we take this time to cook holiday meals, spend time with family, and decorate our homes, we must also remember that this is a peak time for fires.  Most of these incidents can be avoided by practicing good seasonal decorating habits.  The Hickory Fire Department would like to offer some fire safety tips for the upcoming holiday season.

  • Be sure to test all Christmas lights and electrical decorations before putting them up. Check the cords and plugs for any damage, fraying, or lose connections.
  • Check all lights to ensure they are UL listed or have a label from a recognized testing laboratory. Always use indoor lights for indoors and outdoor lights for outdoors.
  • Do not overload electrical circuits or extension cords by using too many items. Do not string together two or more extension cords.   Be sure to use heavy duty extension cords.
  • Do not hammer tacks or nails into the electrical cord when hanging lights or decorations. Instead, use clips to safely attach lights to the house.
  • Never use real candles on or near any type of Christmas tree. Keep candles on a non-flammable base and away from any flammable materials.  Extinguish candles before leaving your home or going to bed.
  • When choosing a live Christmas tree, choose a tree that is fresh. Look for trees that have no signs of wilting or browning.
  • If using an artificial Christmas tree, be sure that the tree is marked as fire resistant.
  • Be sure to water your Christmas tree each day. Christmas trees drink lots of water and dry out quickly.  A dry tree is more flammable than a fresh tree.
  • Place your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from any source of heat. This includes fireplaces, heat vents, lights, or candles.  The tree should not block any exits from your home.
  • Anchor your tree well, using a proper base. Ensure that the tree is sturdy and does not wobble.
  • Always turn off tree lights, window lamps, and other electrical decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.
  • Never throw used wrapping paper or other trash in your fireplace. The paper may ignite rapidly and burn with more intensity than expected.  If stockings are hanging above the fireplace, do not light the fireplace.
  • Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house, garage, or placed against the house.

The Hickory Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and Merry Christmas.  For additional information, contact the Hickory Fire Department at (828) 323-7521.

Happy Holidays!

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