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Fire Expert Says Don't Let Holidays Turn Tragic


The holidays often turn out to be a time of increased fire danger says a safety expert.

Lisa Braxton is Public Education Manager at the National Fire Protection Association, whose mission is to eliminate deaths, injury and personal loss from fires. They provide an annual effort called "Project Holidays", offering tips on fire prevention and safety. Braxton has a few examples of fire starters... 

"...many of us put garland up on the mantle and Christmas cards and hang stockings and that's fine, but you could have a problem is you add lit candles to the display and the flames touch the decorations. If you add Christmas lights to your display and the lights malfunction, a fire could start. Some people put candles on dinner tables. If you have people reaching across to pass food around as an example, that could start a fire. With Christmas trees, sometimes people forget to water them. There's an electrical problem and a fire starts...."

She also says to keep the tree away from flames such as fire places, heating vents or candles. She also says cooking can become hazardous if there is a lot of activity and those cooking become distracted. She says another thing to do to keep fire away is easy.... 

"...make sure you keep an eye on your tree and unplug it before you go to bed. If there's an electrical problem you want to know about it. You don't want to have to go to bed and have something happen with the tree and then you have to have your smoke alarm alert you. With your lights, make sure if there are bulbs out, replace those bulbs...."

She says people like to use candles this time of year. She says blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. She says keep candles at least a foot away from anything that might burn and use sturdy candle holders. More information is on the websitenfpa. org

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