SALINAS, Calif. (KION) As we enter the holiday season, fire agencies around the Central Coast and Bay Area are providing tips to make the season a safe one.
According to the Salinas Fire Department, between 2013 and 2017, fire agencies around the country responded to an average of 160 home fires started by Christmas trees every year. Fire agencies in Santa Clara County said fires started by decorations are most likely to happen in the living room or den.
The Salinas Fire Department offered these tips for Christmas tree safety:
- Always use safe tree lights, Larger trees should have a reflector instead of a bare bulb.
- Do not use electric lights on a metal tree.
- Follow the instructions provided with tree lights.
- Do not connect more than three strands of push-in bulbs or 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
- Unplug lights before leaving home or going to bed.
- Bring outdoor electric lights inside after the holidays to extend their life.
- Do not use lit candles to decorate a tree. Candles should be kept away from flammable materials.
- Keep trees alive by watering them every day.
- Do not buy a tree that is dry or dropping needles.
- Choose a tree stand that will not tip over.
- Buy fire-retardant artificial tree.
- Watch children around the trees and make sure they do not play with any wiring.
- Store matches and lighters out of reach of children.
- Keep the tree at least three feet away from heat sources.
- Keep dried-out trees away from homes and garages.
Fire agencies in Santa Clara County also put out some tips for decoration safety:
- Replace strings of light that are worn out, broken or have loose bulbs.
- Use clips instead of nails when hanging lights.
- Before putting a Christmas tree in its stand, cut two inches from the base of the trunk so it can absorb water better.