Timely tips for a safe holiday season - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Timely tips for a safe holiday season

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Firefighters urge homeowners to use care when creating Christmas light displays. (KTEN) Firefighters urge homeowners to use care when creating Christmas light displays. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Those Christmas lights are so pretty, but they can also be dangerous.

There is traditionally a spike in house fires during the month of December, and not all of them start inside.

"We actually had an incident even on the exterior of a house where the wiring and the lighting had -- with the wind and the weather -- had blown it back-and-forth and rubbed a spot in it and it actually caught the facing of the house on fire," Sherman Fire Department  Division Chief Danny Fuller recalled.

The National Fire Protection Association said firefighters around the U.S. respond to 800 fires a year due to faulty Christmas decorations. But you can reduce the risk by not overloading your circuits.

"Hooking one extension cord into another extension cord ... you think it might be safer, but it's not. It's actually more dangerous," Fuller said.

Also, be careful of how you hang your lights.

"If you are decorating inside and you're using some kind of nails or staple gun, be sure to look around and find a different fastener that doesn't have a metal attachment that goes through your wiring or around your wiring," Fuller suggested. 

And make sure your live Christmas tree has plenty of water.

"You need one quart of water capacity per inch of tree," Fuller said. "That boils down to normal trees about a gallon of capacity that you need for your Christmas tree."

Firefighters also suggest using a timer to turn lights on and off.

"It'll keep them from overload, and also save you money on your electric bill," Fuller said.

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