From the turkey to the tree: how to decorate safely this holiday season

Christmas tree setup

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As many of us dust off the holiday decorations, the Tucson Fire Department is reminding you that it’s a good time to brush up on seasonal safety.

Battalion Chief Barrett Baker suggests starting from the bottom up and taking a look at all the cords you plan to use.

“We want it to be festive. A house fire can start if you have too many extension cords if you have broken extension cords,” said Baker.

Baker said do not cover the extension cords either since they produce heat. Also, when using them to hang up string lights, use clips instead of hammering them in. He’s seen the consequences firsthand if you do.

“They nailed through an extension cord. That caused the extension cord to short out several days later that sparks a fire on persons patio, and this is literally two days before Christmas.”

To hang up the lights you’ll probably need to step up on the ladder. Make sure to use one that’s the appropriate height, don’t work over your head, and never step up on the top.

“Upwards of paralysis or at least several broken bones if you fall off a roof,” said Baker.

When it comes to decorating the inside the house, make sure to keep a close eye on your Christmas tree. Keep it far from any open flames, and if you’re not present to appreciate it, make sure to unplug it.

“It doesn’t need to be beautiful once you go to bed. So turn that off at 10 o’ clock that way you don’t have any potential wiring issues with a cracked bulb sparking or arching and setting your tree on fire,” said Baker.

Always keep the safety screen over any fireplace and make sure your tree is properly watered. Because if it a spark get to it, a dry tree can go up in flames in less than a minute.

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