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Here are some tips to prevent a house fire from destroying your holiday season

Officials say 2020 has already been difficult enough without having to worry about a home fire.
Credit: AP
Ani Sirois places lights and decorations on the family's Christmas tree with daughter Ida, 2, and husband, Chadwick, at their home on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020 in Portland, Ore. Sirois, a respiratory nurse, has spent months caring for coronavirus patients at a Portland hospital. But on a recent sunny day, COVID-19 seemed far away as she, her husband and their 2-year-old daughter roamed a Christmas tree farm in search of the perfect evergreen for a holiday season unlike any other. The family was tree-shopping nearly a week before Thanksgiving and, for the first time, they were picking their own tree instead of buying a pre-cut one. (AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)

HARTFORD, Conn — The Connecticut Department Of Emergency Services And Public Protection shared some tips for residents who are preparing to decorate and celebrate the holidays.

“The holidays are an especially significant time to ensure a fire safe home,” stated Alan Zygmunt, Public Fire Education Coordinator from the Connecticut Fire Academy, “cooking fires, heating system fires and fires from holiday decorations all increase during this time of year.”

Officials say 2020 has already been difficult enough without having to worry about a home fire destroying your Christmas.

Here are the fire safety tips:

  • Check all lights for broken insulation or frayed wires. Electrical lighting is a cause of most Christmas tree fires.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets and don’t run extension cords under rugs, across doorways or near heaters. Only use UL listed extension cords.
  • If you use candles, use a tip-proof candle holder and always blow out candles when you leave the room. Candles cause nearly 60% of all holiday decoration fires.
  • Make sure your Christmas tree is fresh and water it every day. If a tree dries out it is a tremendous fire hazard. There is a very powerful video to watch on NFPA.org that shows the difference between a watered tree and a dry one. (https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays)
  • Fireplaces should always be used with a screen to catch sparks and embers from coming into the room. Dispose ashes in a covered metal container and store it ten feet away from your home. Ashes can maintain enough heat to ignite combustible items for several days.

DESPP also says CT residents should check their smoke and carbon Monoxide detectors regularly to ensure they will work to keep your family safe.

Additional information is available here.