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Tips on preventing holiday fires

Tips on preventing holiday fires
Tips on preventing holiday fires
Published: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:51 PM EST
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STATESBORO, Ga. (WTOC) - Many of us love the sights of bright decorations during the holidays. But we don’t think of the potential danger until it’s too late.

Firefighters say all the Christmas lights and decorations can warm the season, but they can also ruin your holiday if you’re not careful.

Whether it’s a real tree or artificial, it just isn’t the same to most people if it isn’t blinking or twinkling with lights galore. Stephan Hutchins, prevention chief for Statesboro Fire Department, says they often see fires start here.

“One of the common problems we have is overloaded circuits. Too many things plugged into an outlet or an extension cord. Many times, the cord isn’t rated for such high voltage. Therefore, they heat up and cause fires,” Hutchins said.

He recommends spreading some lights or other decorations to other outlets to take the load off any one outlet or circuit. He says keep real trees watered so they don’t dry out and easier to burn. For firefighters, Christmas comes in what’s already the busiest time of the year.

“On top of the decorations and Christmas tree fires, we still have to deal with the space heaters and chimney fires,” Hutchins said.

He reminds people to keep an eye on their decorations, whether it’s lights or old-fashioned candles and keep a fire from even happening.

He says he and the rest of the department would prefer a boring Christmas season without any of those kinds of fires.

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