Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Follow these tips to keep holiday decorations from starting fires


Don't let decor spark holiday catastrophes

Each year fires during the holidays injure 2,600 people and cause more than $930 million in damage. According to the United States Fire Administration, there are simple steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday.

Here are tips to avoid fires caused by holiday lights and decorations.

• Be careful with holiday decorations and try to use those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or noncombustible materials.

• If you have a live Christmas tree, fill the tree stand with water daily and keep it away from heat sources that will dry it out or ignite it.

• Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles on trees.

• Buy only lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab, and follow installation and maintenance instructions.

• Inspect new and used light strings and replace damaged items before plugging them in. Do not overload extension cords.

• Unplug lights before replacing light bulbs or fuses.

• Don't mount lights in a way that can damage the cord's wire insulation (i.e., by using clips, not nails).

• Keep children and pets away from light strings and electrical decorations.

• Turn off light strings and decorations, and blow out candles before leaving the house or going to bed.

Have working smoke alarms installed on every level of your home and near every sleeping area. Know when and how to call for help, and practice your home escape plan.

Seminole Fire Rescue Department

Follow these tips to keep holiday decorations from starting fires 11/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, November 14, 2009 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries


    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  3. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?



    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.
  5. Shooting sends man to hospital in St. Pete


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday and sent a man to the hospital.