How to avoid fires this holiday season

Posted at 9:22 AM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 11:22:06-05

A demonstration from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows how one simple step can save your home. One Christmas tree has been watered regularly. Fire officials set it on fire but after 30 seconds, it eventually smolders out. Another tree on the right hasn’t been watered and is dry. The flames spread quickly. In ten seconds, the ceiling catches fire and soon the entire room is engulfed in flames.

“It’s pretty profound, and I think it drives home the message of how important it is to keep your tree watered during the holiday season,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle.

Last year, a neighbor captured video of a home near Chicago–a fire reportedly started with a Christmas tree. Everyone escaped, but there were injuries.

Candles can also be hazardous. In one demonstration, a misplaced candle on a menorah ignites the curtains and creates a dangerous fire.

Christmas trees and candles are involved in hundreds of fires during the holiday season. The consumer product safety commission estimates about 20 people are killed every year.

Experts say it’s important to keep candles in a sturdy and safe place.

“Keep it away from a curtain, anything that can burn and certainly…If you have children and pets keep that away from them as well.”

Christmas trees also need to kept away from space heaters and anything flammable, and it’s important to check lights for frayed wires and loose sockets. That can help prevent a tragedy from occurring this holiday season.