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Editorial: Don't let your holiday go up in flames


Are you ready for the holiday fire season?

Now is the time of year when holiday decorations and Christmas trees can go up in flames, space heaters get kicked over or are moved too close to something flammable and chimneys catch fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, food left on the stove unattended is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the nation. So, if you're going to cook this holiday season, watch that pot.

Here are some other holiday season fire prevention tips by the association:

• Choose decorations and artificial trees that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
• Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
• Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
• Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini light sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer's instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
• Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.
• If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don't fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2 inces from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
• Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least 3 feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
• Toss the tree after Christmas.

And this should go without saying -- regardless of how welcoming those candles look in each of your windows, use battery-operated candles. A lit candle in the window can set a blind or drapes on fire.

Stay safe this season!


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