Your Family

Dec 25, 2009 8:33 PM by Ariel Wesler

Holiday fire safety tips

As you enjoy the holidays, Santa Maria firefighters want to pass along a few safety tips.

They say keep gift wrapping away from Christmas tree lights. Don't over-load your outlets and be sure to use a surge protector. Also, if you have a real tree, be sure to water it on a regular basis to prevent a major fire.

While enjoying your Christmas celebration, Santa Maria firefighters want you to be aware how quickly it can become a Christmas nightmare.

"In the colder weather, they'll dry out fast and you have to look for the needles to start dropping," said Michael Lambert, a Santa Maria firefighter.

In this video from the U.S. Fire Administration, it takes just seconds for a dried up Christmas tree to go up in flames and less than a minute to ignite the entire house. Firefighters say fake trees need to be checked as well.

"If it's an older, fake tree, the wiring could be old and their could be cracks in the cables," Lambert said.

And when the holidays are done,

"Chop it up into small pieces. Put it out on your curb for proper waste recycling. "Do not burn it in your fireplace what so ever," Lambert said.

While dried out trees are a concern, firefighters say more accidents actually take place in the kitchen.

When you're done cooking, make sure stoves, ovens, and other appliances are turned off.

Don't leave food cooking unattended or use your oven or stove to heat your house. It's just a little advice to keep your holidays happy and keep these guys away from your home.

Firefighters also advise keeping your fireplace clean and dumping the ashes in a metal trash can.

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