Arlington, VA

Now that December is here, the Arlington County Fire Department is asking residents to keep safety in mind when they trim the tree or string the lights.

Every year, an average of 240 Christmas tree-related home fires in the United States result in an average of 13 deaths and 27 injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Those fires are usually caused by electrical problems, heat sources placed too close to the tree, decorative lights or candles.

ACFD released the following safety tips this afternoon.

Fire Safety and Your Tree

  • Keep the trunk of the tree immersed in water at all times.
  • Do not permit smoking near the tree.
  • Use flame retardant trim/decorations.
  • Use only lights that are UL approved.
  • Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs and defective sockets.
  • Unplug lights at night and when leaving home.
  • Do not over load circuits or outlets.
  • Do not run extension cords under carpets or across doorways.
  • Remove the tree soon after the holidays, before the needles dry out.
  • Check your smoke alarms; install new batteries if necessary.
  • Use caution if hanging lights outside; be aware of power lines and hazards while using a ladder.
  • Use caution with candles or open flame devices.

The Arlington County Fire Department wishes everybody a safe and happy holiday season.


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