Midland Fire Department offers Christmas lights and decorations safety tips


Decorating homes and businesses with Christmas lights and decorations is a longstanding tradition around the holidays. Unfortunately, these same decorations can increase the risk of fire.

According to data from the National Fire Protection Association, on average, one in 32 reported home fires that started with a Christmas tree resulted in one death, compared to an average of one death per 143 reported home fires in total. . Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 40% of home Christmas tree fires.

The Midland Fire Department offers the following tips for choosing, placing and lighting your Christmas tree, decorations and lights:

• Make sure Christmas trees and holiday decorations do not block exits. In the event of a fire, time is of the essence. A blocked entry / exit puts you and your family at risk.

• If you choose a cool tree, make sure that the green needles do not fall to the touch; before placing it in the stand, cut 2 “from the base of the trunk.

• Needles on fresh trees should be green and difficult to remove from branches. The needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk off the ground; if many needles fall, the tree is older and has most likely withered out, posing a fire hazard.

• Make sure the tree is watered daily. Well-watered trees are not a problem, but a dry, neglected tree can be.

• Avoid placing Christmas trees near a heat source such as a fireplace or heating duct. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to catch fire more easily with heat, flames or sparks. Be careful not to drop or throw cigarette ashes near a tree. Don’t plant a live tree too early and don’t leave it for more than two weeks.

• Before installing holiday lights, inspect them for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinks or wear. Use only lights listed by an approved testing laboratory, such as UL.

• Do not connect more than three strands of light, unless the instructions say it is safe. Be sure to periodically check the wires; they should not be hot to the touch.

• Choose holiday decorations that are flame retardant or flame retardant.

• Make sure the candles are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked over. Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that may burn. Never leave a room and never go to bed with lit candles.

Following a few simple fire safety tips can prevent electric lights, candles, and the ever-popular Christmas tree from creating tragedy. Learn how to prevent a fire and what to do in the event of a fire in your home. Help us make sure you have a fire-proof holiday season.

For more information call the Midland Fire Department at 989-837-3410, email Midland Fire Marshal Tony Lelo at [email protected], follow the Midland Fire Department on Facebook and Instagram, or visit www.cityofmidlandmi.gov/fire.

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