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December 06, 2017 06:11 PM

Fire Hazards During The Holiday Season

Sioux Falls, SD

This time of year many houses are lined with lights, decorations, and oftentimes have a Christmas tree to show holiday spirit.

But with the beauty of the holiday decorations comes some concern from fire officials about your safety. 

More than 94 million American households will have a Christmas tree this holiday season, according to the American Christmas Tree Association.

"When I was a child that was a staple of what our family was, but the variety of artificial trees was not available then," Dan Matthews said. 

Growing up, Matthews had a real tree, but he now has a fake one based on convenience and safety. 

"You know I really like artificial trees because there's so much variety. They're safer, and they're easier to store. If I like what my wife has done with the decorations, next year there it is," Matthews said. 

Sioux Falls fire official Tyler Tjeerdsma says when it comes down to safety, a fire resistant artificial tree is the way to go. 

But for those of you who must have a real tree, be sure you're taking the steps to stay safe.  

"Just make sure you're keeping it watered. Once Christmas is over just make sure you are disposing of it correctly. A dry Christmas tree is actually a very heavy fire load, which means there's a lot of fuel there to burn," Tjeerdsma said. 

That's not all you need to worry about when it comes to fire hazards this holiday season. 

And when it comes to using extension cords for any of your decorations, they should only be temporary.

Being sure the cords are the right grade to handle your device's power.  Avoid running them under a rug or doorway. 

"Make sure it's always laying on top. What will happen if you actually have it under a floor mat, the heat can't escape and it can actually start a fire," Tjeerdsma said. 

So instead of getting a surprise visit from the fire department, remember these guidelines for a safe holiday season. 

Tjeerdsma also reminds everyone to shut your Christmas lights off before bedtime to avoid any overheating. 

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