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Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards | Families

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Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards
Fulton County Fire Rescue provides guidelines to prevent holiday fire hazards

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- As residents string up the lights and ignite the candles, the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department encourages everyone to keep fire safety in mind.

According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), fires involving Christmas trees caused more than $16 million in property damage per year between 2004 and 2008. Holiday lights and other decorative lighting caused more than $8 million dollars in property damage per year over that same time period.

There are some simple guidelines residents can follow to help keep their holiday decorations from becoming a fire hazard.

Christmas Trees
• Place the tree well away from fireplaces, radiators, heat vents and other heat sources. The heat can dry out a tree more quickly, causing it to become a fire hazard.
• Avoid dropping cigarette ashes near the tree.
• Natural Christmas trees are at a higher risk of fire than artificial ones. Check the water level of your natural tree daily and be sure to keep it well hydrated.
• Do not dispose of your natural tree by burning it in a fireplace or wood stove.

Holiday Lights, Candles and Decorations
• Inspect your lights each year to check for frayed wires and broken or cracked sockets.
• Do not overload your home’s electrical circuitry.
• Avoid hanging lights around lit candles.
• Turn off all lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
• Use only nonflammable decorations. Make sure your artificial tree is flame retardant.

One of the best ways to protect your family from fire is to install a smoke detector on each level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Residents are encouraged to test their smoke detectors monthly and change the batteries every six months (unless you have a 10 year lithium battery).

For more home fire safety tips, contact the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department at 404-612-5700. Follow them on Twitter @FCFRD.

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