Holiday fire safety tips for tree and lights

- Contributed Photo

The United States Fire Administration offers these simple, life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday:

• Get a fresh-cut tree, not one that has dried out.

• Do not place your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. Do not drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree.

• Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

• Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, broken plugs or gaps in the insulation. Use only lighting listed by an approved testing laboratory.

• All decorations on the tree should be nonflammable or flame-retardant.

• Do not leave holiday lights on unattended, and never put lit candles on a tree.

• Finally, as in every season, have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home. Know when and how to call for help, and remember to practice your home escape plan.

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