Seven ways to reduce your holiday fire risks

By Carter Hall, CSFD Firefighter

If you’re the observant type, you may notice the beautiful holiday wreaths that adorn College Station’s six fire stations. Wreaths are hardly uncommon this time of year, but those displayed at our firehouses are a bit different.

The wreaths were initially illuminated entirely with white lights, but with each structure fire we fight in December, a light changes to red. We hope as many white lights as possible are still shining brightly at the end of the month.

Follow these seven tips to help us keep the lights white:

  1. Candles cause more than half of home fires caused by decorations. Keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that burns.
  2. Real Christmas trees should be watered frequently and removed a few days after Christmas.
  3. If you purchase a pre-lit, artificial tree, make sure it has a UL classification mark indicating it meets safety standards.
  4. Nearby heat sources start about 80 percent of Christmas tree fires. Keep your tree and decorations at least three feet from space heaters, fireplaces, radiators, or heat vents.
  5. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly connect holiday lights.
  6. Check smoke detectors monthly to verify they work properly and have one on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area.
  7. Christmas Day is the second leading day for cooking fires. Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen, garage, or near any outside cooking fires.

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About the Blogger

Carter Hall has been a College Station firefighter since 2011. He earned a degree in leadership development from Texas A&M in 2005.


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