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Cornelius News

Most candle fires occur in homes during December

Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings or putting other decorations on the mantel, the Red Cross advises.

Dec. 5. The American Red Cross encourages everyone to follow simple steps to prevent home fires from holiday decorations. Most home fires involving candles happen in December, when one in five home decoration fires also occur. 

“Help protect your family by using battery-operated candles, testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your two-minute escape plan with everyone in your household,” said Allison Taylor, regional executive, Greater Carolinas Region.

Advice from Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue

Christmas is one of the top three days for home fires due to candles.  Here’s a reminder of some simple fire safety tips for this holiday season.

—Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.

—Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.

—Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights.

—Never leave a burning candle unattended.

—Consider using battery-operated flameless candles.

—Keep your live Christmas tree away from heat sources and room exits.

—Water your live Christmas tree daily to keep it from becoming dry.


Holiday decorating safety tips

From the American Red Cross:

—If you must use candles, keep them away from anything that could burn, and place them out of reach from pets and children. Never leave burning candles unattended.

—Check all holiday light cords to ensure they aren’t frayed or broken.

—Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees.

—If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.

—If buying an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.

—Never use electric lights on metallic trees.

—Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings or other decorations on the mantel.

If you need help

If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for help.