Firefighters offer Christmas tree and light tips for a safe and happy holiday season.

Firefighters offer Christmas tree and light tips for a safe and happy holiday season.

Penticton firefighters offer tips for a safe and happy holiday season

Each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees.

  • Dec. 18, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees.

Combined with faulty holiday lights or open flames from candles, dry Christmas trees can quickly ignite and burn down a home.

“People are busy during the holiday season, and often forget to check for fire hazards,” said president Mike Richards for Local 1399 Penticton Professional Firefighters. “Simple things like checking holiday lights for excessive wear and turning off Christmas tree lights before going to bed can make a huge difference.”

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 31 reported home structure Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 141 total reported home structure fires.

The IAFF Local 1399 Penticton Professional Firefighters recommend keeping Christmas trees away from heat sources and exits. Watering your tree daily will help prevent it from becoming dry and hazardous.

Fire fighters also recommend using non-flammable decorations and LED lights, and caution against leaving burning candles unattended or linking more than three strands of holiday lights.