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It’s the time of year to dust off all the holiday decorations and start preparing for the impending holidays and colder weather. But, this time of year also creates a greater risk of fires during this time.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following tips when decorating for the holidays.

  • Decorations should be flame resistant or retardant.
  • Candles should be kept away from decorations and other flammable objects such as curtains.
  • Lights are labeled indoor and outdoor use for a reason, make sure you are properly using your lights.
  • Replace any broken cords or loose bulbs and always read the instructions. Most importantly, keep decorations away from windows and doors.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets and extension cords.
  • Real Christmas trees should be watered daily.
  • Space heaters should be plugged directly into a monitor and placed away from anything flammable. And should be turned off when leaving the house.

More tips for preparing for the wintery months.

  • Test all smoke alarms. Batteries should be changed at least once a year.
  • A Carbon Monoxide (CO) monitor is also a smart idea and should be installed in all sleeping areas. CO is colorless, odorless and can be deadly.
  • Never use the stove to heat the house.
  • Keep pets and children away from lit candles. Matches and lighters should be stored out of reach of small children. But most importantly, blow out any candles before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • Don’t leave the oven unattended while cooking.

“Two of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. While nearly half of the decoration fires are started because they are too close to a heat source,” according to the NFPA.Fire

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