Fire safety tips for holiday decorating

Updated: Nov. 27, 2020 at 4:39 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With Thanksgiving now behind us, many people will be putting up holiday decorations this weekend.

Doug Reynolds, a Battalion Chief for the Henrico Fire Department, says keeping your house safe starts with a safe tree.

“Make sure that you get a nice green tree, grab those needles and pull on it, because if you end up with a big handful of needles that is not a fresh tree and it’s already starting to dry out, and it’s going to be a problem in your house,” he said.

Reynolds also says if you’re using a real Christmas tree, you want to keep any heat source 36 inches, or the length of a yardstick away.

When you grab last year’s lights, he says to make sure they don’t have any broken bulbs, and if you need new lights, look for a “UL” label, which means they’ve met a testing standard. Reynolds also recommends being careful with extension cords.

“Keep them to a bare minimum, make sure you get a quality cord if you do get one, and avoid what you call “daisy-chaining,” which is adding two or three extension cords together,” he said.

If you’re decorating outside, there are a few things the Batallion Chief says to keep in mind.

“If you use staple guns in between the wire, we’ve seen people who have actually put the staple through the wire and it can cause issues. If you attach lights to your gutter, make sure you clean out your gutter because leaves are fuel for fire,” he said.

One final tip for you, make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Submit a news tip.