H-SANTA MARIA

Dec 3, 2012 9:41 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Local fire prevention experts offer holiday safety tips

You may have spent your weekend decorating your house for the holidays, but you know some decorations may actually increase your chances of a fire?

"Just because it's the holiday season, you can't ever let your guard down. You always have to be, stay on top of it when it comes to fire safety," said Emiliano Enriquez, a fire prevention officer with the Santa Maria Fire Department.

The fire department said the main threats are lights on dry Christmas trees. "Once it gets dry, it dries up quick and, you know, you're hanging electrical lights all over a dry tree. Sometimes it's not a good idea," added Enriquez.

If the branches break when you bend it, it's dry. If you see more bristles on the ground, it's dry and should be thrown out.

Cooking is another safety issue around the holidays. "We have fires here in town due to cooking then we do to Christmas trees. Being unattended food, everyone likes to leave stuff on the stove and take off, or they go to their room for a minute, then go outside for a minute or go to the store.

City prevention experts said they get at least one call a week regarding an unattended cooking fire.

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