Fire Officials Share Tips on Safety During Holidays

The holiday season is a festive time but it's also a time when home fire dangers increase.

DULUTH, Minn. – The holiday season is a festive time but it’s also a time when home fire dangers increase. With Christmas trees and lights now going up around the Northland, fire officials want to share a few safety tips.

Having any type of open flame in your home puts you at a higher risk for a structure fire. In fact, statistics show about two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles.

The Duluth Fire Department is cautioning folks that the uptick in fires this time of year usually involves a lot of cooking or candle fires.

Holiday decorations can also be a fire source, and those tend to be electrical in nature.

Experts say to always make sure you’re not overloading circuits when putting up decorations.

Most modern lights should tell you how many strings of lights you can safely have on a single circuit.

Also, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to holiday lights.

“The holiday season is a time where we see an uptick in fires,” said Jon Otis, the deputy fire marshall for the Duluth Fire Department. “It’s also a time of year when obviously it’s getting colder, snowy. People are trying to heat more.”

Space heaters can also start fires.

Always know what the rating is on your heater and keep things away from it. It’s a good idea to keep at least three feet of space between heaters and combustible materials, like wrapping paper, curtains, or Christmas trees.

“Enjoy the time that you’re indoors,” said Otis. “Try to have fun and kind of carry on, do what you normally would. But pay attention to your surroundings.”

You should also make sure you have working smoke detectors and that you have a plan to get around your house in case a fire happens.

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