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“Following simple tips will help prevent unnecessary fires that are commonly sparked by holiday decorations,” said Ronald Delo, President of The Public Adjusters, a public adjusting firm based in Tampa, FL.

Colorful lights, candles sitting in the windowsill and sparkling Christmas trees are staples of the holidays, but The Public Adjusters warn that these decorations pose a fire risk if not handled with the proper care.

Holiday Fire Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Damage

  • Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations or anything that can burn.
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and check the packaging.
  • Replace any string of lights w/worn or broken cords or loose connections, and connect no more strands than recommended.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

“While decorations and Christmas trees certainly spread holiday cheer, it is important to follow basic safety steps so celebrations go off without a problem,” said Delo.

For Christmas tree safety:

  • Keep your tree well watered.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken bulbs or loose bulb connections.
  • 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 Check for recycling opportunities in your area.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent deterioration and hazards.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), holiday lights and other decorative lighting were involved in an estimated average of 150 home fires per year during the same time period. These fires caused an average of eight deaths, 14 injuries and $8.5 million in direct property damage per year.

The team at The Public Adjusters is available  24/7 to answer questions and provide additional tips to prevent home and business fires sparked by decorations.